Natural resource managers

Many rural communities rely heavily on their surrounding natural resources for a living. Managing those resources in a better way can help them to plan for the future. That's why we recruit natural resource managers for placements in Mongolia, Uganda and Zambia.

You'll be qualified to degree or diploma level in natural resource management, water or coastal management, fisheries management methods or forestry management and planning. Roles generally range from one to two years. You'll have at least two years of experience in strategy, planning, management and enterprise development. Experience of applying community-based participatory methods in your work is desirable.

What you'll be doing

Rural communities need technical assistance in forestry management, water management, coastal and fisheries management and natural resource management. Your advice and experience will help to improve their natural resource sustainability rates.

  • Example role

Please note this is just an example placement to illustrate the kind of roles that may come up in your skill area. To view our live roles, click ‘Get started’ below.

Coastal resource management adviser at MuCard-POM Inc Centre in Lanao del Sur
The Philippines

VSO has been involved in peace building in the Philippines since 2001 through the TOSCADAR programme – an initiative undertaken in partnership with local Christian and Muslim organisations. The aim of the programme is to facilitate better understanding between different communities, ethnicities, and cultures, and includes actions to improve the resource access and livelihoods of the disadvantaged and displaced.

VSO is supporting MuCARD-POM, a local organisation contributing to the Community Initiative for Peace and Coastal Resource Management. They initiate mechanisms for protecting municipal water against illegal fishing and establish coastal protection and rehabilitation. As a costal resource management adviser you’ll provide management support to staff to increase the effectiveness of the organisation’s programmes.

What you'll be doing

  • Coaching and mentoring staff in coastal resource protection and development
  • Assessing and recommending appropriate community-based marine income generating projects in four coastal villages
  • Developing a management information system and training staff in relevant IT systems and programmes
  • Assisting in the effective monitoring and evaluation of the programme

What you'll need

You’ll need a degree-level qualification as well as extensive experience in coastal resource management with a focus on income-generating projects for coastal communities. You should have good knowledge of marine resource surveys, research design and project management and have previously worked at community level.

Cultural sensitivity is very important for this placement as you’ll be working with a mix of Muslim, Christian and Indigenous communities with very different respective traditions. As with all VSO placements, patience, flexibility and a sense of humour are important, as these qualities will help you to integrate successfully into your new community.

And the rest...

We’ll ask you to commit to 24 months to make a sustainable contribution to our development goals. In return, we’ll give you comprehensive financial, personal and professional support. We'll provide you with extensive training before your placement, and our financial package includes a local living allowance, return flights, accommodation, insurance and more. When you return to your home country, we'll help you to resettle and many of our returned volunteers stay involved with us long after their placement ends.

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Falling in love with Zambia

Haripriya Eswaran (Zambia - Health)
Haripriya Eswaran spent nearly two years volunteering as hospice administrator at Our Lady’s Hospice in Lusaka, Zambia. Drawing on her healthcare background, Haripriya found the work challenging yet fascinating. Her biggest success was reviewing the hospice’s business model to create a sustainable strategy for the future. Here she looks back on the ups and downs of her time in Zambia.



Can I go home during my placement?

You are entitled to four weeks of leave every year.