Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Quality Control Coordinator

Closing date: 2022-04-14
Position: Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Quality Control Coordinator
Organization: Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
Country: Canada
State: Ontario
Contact: Gillian Woolmer
Contact Email:

Official Title: Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Quality Control Coordinator
Position Location: Flexible/Remote
Term: 1-year contract

Salary: $60,000 – $65,000 per annum

Reports to: Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne, Director, Key Biodiversity Areas
Supervises: Not applicable

Position Summary
The Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Quality Control Coordinator will play a key role in completing the process of identifying  KBAs in Canada. This position is will be responsible for the review and quality control of KBA proposals that have been developed and reviewed by technical experts, ensuring that all KBA proposals are complete, conform to KBA guidelines, are reviewed by interested stakeholders and rights holders, and are ready to be submitted to the national KBA Steering Committee for acceptance. The coordinator will document and track these processes, working with tools developed by the KBA Secretariat. This position requires an individual that is meticulous and thrives on managing data-driven detailed processes to achieve big picture conservation goals.

WCS Canada leads the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas in Canada and co-hosts the Secretariat for the KBA Canada program, along with Birds Canada and NatureServe Canada. The impetus for the work was to support the jurisdictions of the Pathway to Canada Target 1 Initiative to identify sites of importance to biodiversity so that they could be taken into account in decision-making, from mitigating the impacts of development projects to creating protected areas. In order to provide a coherent and global approach to identifying sites important for biodiversity, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) developed and adopted A Global Standard for the identification of KBAs in 2016. An international KBA Partnership was formed in order to encourage and support the identification of KBAs and maintain a documented list of sites identified against the KBA Standard.

In Canada, KBAs are identified using the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) Standard developed by the IUCN (2016) and a parallel National Standard published in 2021 by the KBA Canada Coalition. Once a KBA is identified, regional coordinators complete a standardized proposal form that includes a site description, data, citations, information about the assessment process, and many more details. This information is reviewed by both experts, as well as stakeholders and rights holders. The final stage of proposal development includes checking that all standards have been met, that there are no data sensitivity issues, and that review comments have been addressed. Then the proposal is submitted for acceptance.

Similar to the IUCN Red List (IUCN 2020), the KBA Standard uses a set of globally-agreed criteria with quantitative thresholds to identify geographic areas critical to the maintenance of biodiversity at the global scale. The national standard is parallel to the global standard, and identifies sites critical to the maintenance of biodiversity at the national scale. Sites qualify as KBAs if they meet one or more of 11 criteria, clustered into five categories: threatened biodiversity; geographically restricted biodiversity; ecological integrity; biological processes; and irreplaceability. The KBA criteria can be applied to species and ecosystems in terrestrial, inland water, and marine environments.

This position will work closely with Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearn, Director, Key Biodiversity areas and Dr. Peter Soroye, KBA Assessment and Outreach Coordinator, and adjust to the needs of the Canadian KBA program as required.

Position Objectives
This position will support the KBA Canada initiative through the following activities and objectives:
1. Develop expertise in KBA criteria, guidelines for the application of the KBA global and Canada national standards, KBA Canada tools and processes, and KBA Canada quality and consistency standards
2. Review all KBA proposals after they have undergone technical review to ensure they conform to KBA Canada quality and consistency standards
3. Support the general review process of KBAs, focused on stakeholders and rights holders
4. Organize and submit KBA proposals according to protocols established by KBA Canada

Principle Responsibilities
1. KBA training period:
– Read core KBA documents as identified by KBA Secretariat
– Learn details of the KBA Canada process to develop and review KBA proposals, including tracking and organization of data and information
– Learn about quality and consistency controls and tools within the KBA Canada process
– Complete required data use training
– Learn about KBAs already under development across Canada
– Work with KBA Outreach and Assessment coordinator to shepherd several KBAs through the quality and consistency control process, general review and submission

2. Ensure quality and consistency of all KBA proposals after they have undergone technical review:
– Review all sections of each KBA proposal and ensure that information contained in the proposal forms conforms to KBA guidelines.
– Check that data protocols have been followed and review comments have been addressed adequately, maintaining documentation of these checks.
– Liaise with KBA Secretariat members and regional coordinators to fill gaps in the proposal and apply any necessary changes
– Co-lead coordination of the KBA general review process with the Assessment and Outreach Coordinator
– Liaise with KBA Secretariat members and regional coordinators around cases that require additional outreach, or flexibility around outreach to rights holders and stakeholders
– Support the submission of KBAs to KBA Canada National Steering Committee
– Support review of KBA proposals once feedback has been received from national or global feedback after submission
– Provide feedback to KBA Canada team on how to improve the consistency and quality of KBA proposals

– Post-graduate degree in biodiversity conservation or other related fields of study
– Previous work experience/relevant experience (education) focused on environmental conservation
– Excellent organizational and project management skills
– Detail-oriented and ability to focus for long periods of time on data and information review
– Experience using relational geospatial databases Experience querying geospatial datasets in a GIS environment
– Strong analytical skills, including the ability to assimilate and effectively analyze a large amount of material
– Strong interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills;
– Passion for the conservation of nature and wildlife

How to Apply
Apply here:

Please submit your CV and a cover letter explaining how your skills/qualifications and experiences make you the ideal candidate for this role, along with the names and contact information of three references.
WCS Canada is committed to being an accessible and inclusive organization. We are committed to providing barrier-free and accessible employment practices. Applicants with a disability or any special needs may make a request for accommodation at any stage of the recruitment process, and we will work with you to meet your needs. Such requests should be communicated to Gillian Woolmer ( or by phone 416-8892-9318.

Deadline for applications: 14 April 2022

For questions regarding the application process, please contact Gillian Woolmer at

For questions about the nature of this position, please contact Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne at

About WCS Canada
WCS Canada ( was established as a Canadian conservation organization in July 2004. We are committed to championing accessibility, diversity, and equal opportunity. Our mission is to save wildlife and wild places by improving our understanding of and seeking solutions to critical problems that threaten key species and large wild ecosystems throughout Canada. We implement and support comprehensive field studies that gather information on wildlife needs and then seek to resolve key conservation problems by working with a broad array of actors. WCS Canada has a track record of our science being recognized as relevant, credible and legitimate by researchers, NGOs and agencies. WCS Canada is independently registered and managed, while retaining a strong collaborative working relationship with sister Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) programs in more than 60 countries._

Diversity and inclusion are core WCS Canada values. We value the diversity of the people we employ and work with and we strive to provide an inclusive and equitable workplace in which we recognize the unique characteristics, skills and experiences of all employees. We are committed to engaging our employees in our diversity, equity and inclusion work and together we aim to create a work place where all staff feel they belong and can grow.

WCS Canada’s programs occur on the homelands of Indigenous Peoples whose relationships various governments are described in historic (numbered) Treaties, modern land claim agreements, and negotiations around unceded lands. We recognize and support the international ecological and social commitments and responsibilities to Indigenous Peoples that Canada has signed, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Our commitment to engagement with Indigenous Peoples ranges from notification of research, to the provision of scientific advice, to co-creation of research. We respect Indigenous knowledge systems and include this knowledge in our research and conservation programs where possible. We engage in land use planning and impact assessment processes that affect Indigenous Peoples, seeking ways to advance conservation as well as opportunities to sustain the livelihoods and cultures of Indigenous communities. We seek to motivate positive conservation outcomes by supporting effective governance and decision-making processes by Indigenous communities, particularly by supporting Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas.