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The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI)

The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI)

Posted on Friday, January 20, 2023

Background: In November 2021, the Government of Belize (GoB) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) signed a “blue bond” debt conversion agreement enabling the country to reduce its debt burden and increase its investment in marine conservation. Key milestones including the development, approval, and implementation of a Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) have been outlined in the Conservation Commitments under the Conservation Funding Agreement (CFA). On the 19th of October 2022, Belize’s MSP process was officially launched by the Government of Belize, marking the achievement of Milestone 3 under the CFA. The “Belize Sustainable Ocean Plan” (BSOP) was unveiled at the launch event as the name for Belize’s MSP, which was selected by the public through an open voting process.

The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), under the Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, has been designated as the government’s lead agency for the Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) process with funding support from the Belize Fund for a Sustainable Future (BFSF).

As part of this exciting initiative, a suitably qualified MSP Science Lead is being recruited to guide the use of science to inform the development of the Belize Sustainable Ocean Plan (BSOP).

Summary of Position:

The Science Lead will work with government and relevant stakeholder groups to identify and incorporate the best available data into the MSP process, thereby ensuring that the resulting Belize Sustainable Ocean Plan (BSOP) is scientifically and technically sound. He/she will be responsible to collaborate with partners to build technical capacity within the CZMAI to further the organization’s research priorities towards the development of the BSOP and implementaion of other programs. The Science Lead will report to CZMAI’s Director and will work as a part of the MSP Core Team. Additionally, he/she will also be required to work closely with MSP Process Lead and TNC’s MSP Specialist to advance the BSOP. This is a contractual position, subject to renewal based on satisfactory performance and funding availability.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

Data Acquisition and Use

• Oversee the use collection and vetting of the best available data to support the development of the BSOP and all related outputs.

• Provide guidance for the incorporation of data into outputs developed throughout the MSP process.

• Identify and utilize the most appropriate decision-support tools to facilitate the development of the BSOP.

• Liaise with the MSP Core Team and MSP Steering Committee to ensure the integration of science into policy decisions.

• Identify, communicate, and address any obstacles in data acquisition that may affect work plan/budget implementation.

• Execute day to day activities according to CZMAI’s internal work plan to ensure the timely delivery of outputs towards the development of the MSP.

• Provide technical support for other CZMAI programmes where necessary. Engagement and Reporting

• Coordinate and convene expert panels and/or scientific advisory groups to provide insights and validate project outputs where necessary.

• Synthesize scientific knowledge from expert groups or other sources in support of the MSP Process.

• Participate in Technical Work Group Meetings as required to ensure that information discuss is accurately represented in outputs.

• Support the process for the stakeholder mapping and analysis.

• Identify and collaborate with local and international partners to develop technical capacities that can complement the MSP process.

• Identify training opportunities and exchanges that can improve the quality of outputs generated throughout the MSP process and build technical capacity at the CZMAI.

• Provide user friendly data summaries to support stakeholder engagement when necessary.

• Conduct presentation on data and findings as required to support the MSP Process.

• Represent the CZMAI in any relevant technical forums/exchanges/workshops as required.

• Fulfill all reporting requirements as per workplan.

• Provide summary report of key finding from any relevant technical forums/exchanges/workshop etc. attended on behalf of the CZMAI.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

• Master’s degree in Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, Sustainable Development, or a related field.

• At least 3 years’ of on-the-ground experience with utilizing science to advance ocean conservation and participatory processes in the field of marine spatial planning, marine protected area design and management, natural resource management, etc.

• A proven track record and at least 3 years’ experience with collecting, analyzing, and diseeminating data for use in a stakeholder driven process.

• Experience in using science to inform policy and decision making.

• Demonstrated knowledge of decision support tools and their use to further marine spatial planning, marine protected area design and management, natural resource management, etc.

• Experience with and significant knowledge of a cross section of data across several disciplines including social, economic and environmental datasets.

• Strong, effective communication skills for multiple audiences including communicating with the public and/or media both in writing and verbally.

• Bilingual (Spanish) is a plus.

• Possession of a valid permit to work in Belize and valid Driver’s License.

Work Environment:

The Science Lead will be based at the CZMAI office in Belize City. However, when necessary, he/she will be required to work/travel to different parts of the country.


Salary will be based on qualifications and experience.

Application Procedure:

Qualified and interested persons should submit a Letter of Application, Resume or Curriculum Vitae, Copies of Academic Records and other relevant credentials to demonstrate skills/experience including a portfolio related work, Contact Details for Two (2) Referees, Copy of Valid Permit to Work in Belize, Copy of Valid Driver’s License, and a recent Police Record or receipt of payment for the record (i.e. within the past six months). Incomplete applications or applications not meeting the requirements stated above WILL NOT be accepted.

Applications can be submitted via e-mail to the address below no later than TUESDAY 17th January 2023: Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute Princess Margaret Drive, P.O. Box 1884 Belize City, Belize mspcoordinator@coastalzonebelize.org RE: MSP Science Lead Post