Position Profile


Job Title:  Resource Management Engagement Specialist

Work Unit:  Operations Division/LAR/Resource Management

Ministry:   Alberta Environment and Parks

Competition Number:  1040520

Date:  February 2017
 

Purpose

 

The Resource Management Engagement Specialist works within the Lower Athabasca Region Resource Management Section of Operations Division to support the achievement of overall land, resource and biodiversity objectives within the Lower Athabasca Region. The position contributes directly to the overall strategies, priorities and goals of the Ministry by coordinating and facilitating engagement with Indigenous peoples and regional stakeholders to inform the management of natural resources. The Resource Management Engagement Specialist will manage important relationships by active design, planning and implementation of programs which incorporate place-based knowledge, including Indigenous knowledge and traditional practices. This position functions as a key member of an integrated team of professional and technical staff responsible for the management of fish and wildlife resources in the region.

This position will ensure that processes reflect the government’s legal and moral commitments to consult with Indigenous communities whose constitutionally protected rights may be potentially affected by development. In addition, this position will support consultation and engagement with stakeholders, municipalities and the public. An initial focal point for the position will be on the development and implementation of a cooperative management initiative for the Ronald Lake bison herd.

Operating with minimal supervision, the position collaborates with Indigenous Relations and Ministry staff to plan deliver and evaluate specific engagement and consultation initiatives relative to Ministry programs on fish and wildlife management. The position facilitates discussions, leads workshops, advises regional staff and coordinates engagement activities. The Resource Management Engagement Specialist will focus on building relationships, influencing multiple stakeholders and providing interpretation and understanding of community, cultural and traditional information to facilitate a common understanding of local issues.

This position reports to the Resource Management and Biodiversity Specialist, but project-based reporting will occur through the relevant area biologist. The position requires advanced communication skills, strategic awareness, knowledge of natural resource management (including fisheries, wildlife, species at risk and biodiversity management), a sound knowledge of stakeholder engagement practices and familiarity with rural communities and Indigenous peoples. Creative thinking at both the strategic and operational levels is necessary to develop and maintain long term, effective relationships that address the many levels (project-specific to sub-regional and regional) of resource management concerns across the Lower Athabasca Region.

Responsibilities and Activities

  1.

Provide Resource Management engagement and facilitation support - Providing comprehensive regional specific Resource Management engagement and facilitation services on behalf of the Ministry or in coordination with Indigenous Relations to ensure adequate and appropriate engagement of Albertans.

Activities:

  • Identifying and initiating any pre-engagement activities required prior to any proposed initiatives.
  • Developing a project plan for each engagement initiative.
  • Leading and/or participating in IR coordinated engagement activities.
  • Providing advice and support to regional staff and other engagement partners throughout the engagement process including project planning, stakeholder involvement, facilitation, regulatory requirements, etc.
  • Providing direction on the implementation of engagement policy, guidelines and procedures, and including direction on the type/level of engagement warranted.
  • Monitoring and assessing engagement initiatives and developing reports regarding the nature, extent and completeness of the process.
     
  2.

Develop and maintain effective working relationships with both indigenous communities and regional stakeholders - The incumbent will develop on-going and effective relationships with and an understanding of the perspectives of regional First Nations, Metis and stakeholders.

Activities:

  • Facilitating strategic engagement to open on-going communication and understanding among stakeholders.
  • Providing information sessions to champion understanding of perspectives, culture, issues and protocols necessary for effective engagement activities.
  • Proactively communicating with regional Indigenous peoples and stakeholders regarding the Ministry’s and GoA’s direction and mandate regarding land management and resource development initiatives and programs.
  • Monitoring, assessing and reviewing the adequacy of regional consultation and engagement initiatives as well as documenting and recording the consultation and engagement processes and meetings.
  • Facilitating the engagement process to resolve any disputes or issues that might arise.
  • Providing support to a portfolio of projects that require engagement of Indigenous people, industry, municipalities/communities and other stakeholders.
     
  3.

Land Use Framework Regional Implementation - The incumbent will work closely with the Policy and Planning Division, the Regional Resource Management team, and the Regional Operations Division team to help plan for and implement the LUF regional plans for the Lower Athabasca Region.

Activities:

  • Liaison between Policy and Planning Division, Indigenous Relations and the regional staff to coordinate input and considerations of Indigenous people into the LUF regional planning process.
  • Analyze, evaluate and assess potential LUF outcomes and implications for ongoing resource management programs and fish/wildlife/biodiversity values in the District and Region relative to Indigenous and stakeholder interests, and recommend changes and new programs to achieve LUF outcomes.
  • Communicate, educate and train regional staff on LUF plan progress, outcomes and the final documents, and implementation plans and their impacts on Indigenous peoples and stakeholders.
     
  4.

Strategic Interaction and Public Involvement - Using his/her communication and interpersonal skills to guide public involvement, facilitation and mediation as required.

Activities:

  • Develop strategic and operational working relationships with Regional personnel, other departments (Energy, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Transportation, Alberta Energy Regulator), Municipalities and public and industry stakeholder groups to create an extensive network of expertise, background and collaborative partners, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the creation and implementation of land management planning and biodiversity conservation.
  • Prior to initiating resource management projects, the incumbent with support from the Resource Management Manager will consult with internal staff and representatives from other departments to clarify issues and data and then review those issues and data with non-government stakeholders.
  • Represent the department on multi-stakeholder groups, inter-departmental committees, advisory groups, and other external cooperative efforts.
  • Contribute to the education and training of stakeholders and staff as to the appropriate procedures and policies for effective participation in the development and implementation of land management planning and implementation.
  • Contributes to regional and district level environment education, engagement and outreach initiatives
  • Contributes to the effective communication or resource management programs, policies and initiatives.
  • During planning or other initiatives, the incumbent
    • Consults on a regular and timely basis with all stakeholders
    • Endeavours to achieve consensus on recommendations (including internal staff, where appropriate).
    • Clarifies and documents the views of stakeholders, including views that differ from the majority view.
     
  5.

Coaching on engagement tactics - Making use of excellent interpersonal skills the incumbent provides direction and training to staff regarding the consistent implementation of resource management and biodiversity policy throughout the region.

Activities:

  • Communicate with Regional staff regarding the consistent implementations of policy including resolution of any variations in interpretation or obstacles to full implementation of policy.
  • Work with Regional staff to identify and resolve issues related to policy gaps, policy conflicts and issues requiring upper management involvement or resolution.
  • Provide direction in areas of public involvement, project management, planning processes, and fish/wildlife/species at risk/biodiversity management.
  • Ensure plan content standards are maintained and that client expectations are addressed in a timely and accurate fashion.
  • Contribute to careful review of applications for land uses.
     
  6.

Education - Educates and informs the public, stakeholders, Indigenous peoples and special interest groups about fish and wildlife issues in the areas, as well as provides information about resource management, current issues and programs requiring engagement or consultation initiatives.

Activities:

  • Provides fish and wildlife or natural resource management information (written or presentation) to internal and external audiences.
  • Participates in extension service activities that support fish and wildlife resource conservation initiatives of others, especially where there is an Indigenous interest or perspective.
  • Assists in the design and development of extension materials to support engagement and consultation activities or to assist in public education and community relations activities designed to improve awareness, appreciation and understanding of Alberta’s fish and wildlife resources and their management.
  • Facilitates understanding of Indigenous or community perspectives and involvement in fish and wildlife resource understanding, appreciation and management.
     
  7.

Provide advice and assistance on place-based engagement issues - The incumbent will collaborate on improving the Ministry’s engagement processes, frameworks and guidelines between Indigenous peoples, communities, stakeholders and the Department.

Activities:

  • Identifies, assesses and analyzes potentially sensitive issues or concerns within the District (and in some cases Region), collects information and prepares appropriate background information to support an appropriate response, input, briefing or advice – works with District and Regional staff, other divisions/departments and stakeholders to ensure that issues are appropriately addressed.
  • Reviews information regarding land and resource development and provides information on issues and trends as well as a risk assessment based on an understanding of Indigenous peoples and stakeholders perspectives.
  • Inputs into ministerial and executive briefings – to keep the District and Regional Manager, Minister, and executive apprised of current or developing land management planning and management issues – especially those requiring engagement or consultation, highlighting potential sensitivities and recommending possible solutions and possible actions or approaches to each issue, consistent with departmental policies and practices.

Scope

 

The incumbent will be expected to become an expert in general engagement practices, Indigenous engagement policies, community preferences, and Indigenous knowledge and traditional practices relevant to the Lower Athabasca Region. The incumbent will work within the broad framework of legislation, regulation and policies of the Division as a key part of an interdisciplinary team of professional staff.

The Resource Management Engagement Specialist provides a strong contribution to Alberta’s objective of efficient land use, integrated resource management, biodiversity maintenance and will:

  • Develop, implement, maintain and monitor effective programs designed to achieve sustainable fish and wildlife populations through collaboration.
  • Participate in advisory teams to provide recommendations on the development of the land management planning framework and mechanisms (e.g. policy, guidelines, legislation, partnerships, research).
  • Acts in an advisory capacity to government staff, industry and the public on policies, guidelines and legislation of importance to consultants.
  • Operate in an interdisciplinary, multi-objective environment. Issues can cover all economic, social, and environmental aspects of resource management though the focus is expected to remain on fisheries and wildlife management.
  • Deal with a number of stakeholder and/or client groups on multiple projects. The interests of these groups vary widely and are often in conflict. The groups include internal clients responsible for public land management, environmental regulation and operation, and stakeholders concerned with environmental, social and economic aspects of resource management.

Significant freedom is given to develop the necessary relationships and partnerships with public, government and Indigenous communities and to develop creative solutions that will be mutually agreeable to Indigenous peoples and stakeholders. The position is required to anticipate needs for adjustments to ensure the land management planning framework remains inclusive to public, government and industry stakeholder groups that are willing and able to directly commit to the overall objectives of the program.

Championing the potential of powerful partnerships despite biases based on historical relationships is sometimes difficult. Building and sustaining trust between aboriginals, ministries and stakeholders requires diplomacy and foresight. For example, many resolutions of key issues involve balancing the needs of one or more aboriginal groups with the overall balance of legal requirements, the environment, the economy and the social structure.

The coordinator demonstrates initiative and creativity in effectively analyzing the diverse viewpoints of stakeholders to develop valid and realistic recommendations to engage Indigenous people and stakeholders in the development of Ministry policies, programs, and resource management decisions. The Resource Management Engagement Specialist also influences IR-led consultation initiatives by providing advice and information regarding regional/local issues, perspectives and participants. The position manages a highly complex and sensitive portfolio of engagement projects that is the focus of provincial, national and international attention, all impacting the Alberta Government’s reputation.

Develops and undertakes engagement programs to integrate public/user/stakeholder input into resource management planning and habitat protection in the area.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 

The incumbent will have extensive knowledge, skills, and experience in a wide variety of areas that influence engagement and consultation activities in support of integrated resource management. To be successful in this position, an integrated multi-disciplinary knowledge base is required. The disciplines where knowledge, skills, or experience are desirable include engagement and facilitation, planning, biology, and fish/wildlife/species at risk/biodiversity management. In those areas outside of the person’s core competencies, he/she is expected to have the capacity to independently and accurately assess, interpret, and represent the work of others.

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology or Natural Resource Management and a minimum of 4 years’ experience or equivalent.
  • Preference may be given to candidates with a post graduate certification or degree.

Knowledge and good understanding of the following:

  • History, culture and rights of Alberta First Nations and Metis communities and Indigenous issues in the natural resource sector.
  • Demonstrated experience working with and influencing a variety of constituents.
  • Current land and resource planning concepts, integrated resource management, and sustainable resource management.
  • A strong understanding of principles and practices related to conservation and management of fish, wildlife, species at risk, and biodiversity values, including an understanding of how development activities can affect these values.
  • A broad understanding of the interaction between ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resource development.
  • A working knowledge of the computer software and other computer programs used by the Department: Microsoft Word & Excel, Access, Adobe Acrobat, Internet and Email (outlook) functions.

Specific skills and abilities include:

  • Knowledge of and experience in applying the principles of stakeholder consultation, consensus building, conflict management and dispute resolution.
  • Demonstrated understanding of International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) approaches to engagement
  • Good communications and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong skills and experience in group facilitation, negotiation, leadership and mediation is an asset.
  • Ability to assess the interests of several diverse parties and facilitate an acceptable solution.
  • A strong ability to analyze complex situations at multiple scales to ensure that both strategic and operational implications of possible solutions are identified and understood.
  • Strong organizational and effective time management skills.
  • Strong ability to coordinate the development and delivery of partnerships that are integrated across land and resource management agencies and government departments (e.g. Indigenous Relations, Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation), Indigenous communities, local governments, and across major recreational, environmental and industrial stakeholder groups.
  • Demonstrated ability for finding and implementing creative and innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • Proven experience in working independently, as well as, in organizing and managing teams who are not directly accountable to the position.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to communicate with a variety of stakeholders and clearly convey complex issues.
  • Strong leadership skills to lead and support engagement activities.
  • Effective project, issues and risk management skills.

Knowledge and understanding of the following legislation, policy and guidelines:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of legislation that guides and influences land and resource management will be expected, including but not limited to the Public Lands Act, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Forests Act, Municipal Government Act, Alberta Land Stewardship Act, Resource and Energy Development Act, Wildlife Act, Fisheries (Alberta) Act, Mines and Minerals Act, Surface Rights Act, Historical Resources Act, Water Act, Provincial Parks Act and their associated regulations and guidelines.
  • Knowledge of relevant federal legislation (e.g. Species at Risk Act, Section 35 of the Constitution Act (Canada)) will also be required.
  • Understanding of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Ministry mandates, strategic business and operational plans.
  • Knowledge of Divisional and Departmental policies, procedures and guidelines in relation to Occupational Health and Safety.

Contacts

 

Provides professional facilitation for engagement and consultation activities that will provide input into land use management issues/processes and natural resource management. This will involve interacting directly with AEP and other provincial government departments as well as Indigenous peoples, industry, consultants, agricultural producers, and special interest groups, etc.

Represents and negotiates Resource Management interests on Indigenous, multi-stakeholder and multi-agency planning forums struck to resolve complex resource management issues. This will involve interacting directly with other AEP and government (provincial and federal) departments and agencies as well as industry, First Nations, Métis and public special interest groups.

Maintains extensive contacts with other Branch, Divisional and Departmental staff to advance Branch and Divisional programs through engagement and consultation.

Supervision Exercised

 

The position may be asked to provide supervision to wage staff and as necessary to staff and/or volunteers assisting with engagement activities in the Lower Athabasca Region.


 

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