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Director Protected Areas and Ecosystems



Competition # : 38378 

Department: Environment and Climate Change

Location: HALIFAX

Type of Employment: Permanent

Union Status: Exclusion - Non Union - NSPG 

Closing Date: 3/30/2023 (Applications are accepted until 11:59 PM Atlantic Time)

About Us


Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change’s role is to protect the environment and human health through regulatory excellence, conservation, partnership and promotion. To achieve this, we strive to develop legislation, regulations and policies, process notifications, applications, and approvals for regulated activities based on sound scientific knowledge and expertise.


Our goal is to educate, inspect and enforce to ensure compliance with legislation and regulations. We proactively respond to environmental, conservation, and human health risks and work to develop programs and deliver services to enhance protection in these areas. For more information, please visit

About Our Opportunity


Reporting to the Executive Director Sustainability & Applied Science, the Director of Protected Areas and Ecosystems provides innovative and adaptable leadership in overseeing all aspects of the Department’s protected areas program.


This work requires providing strategic direction and leadership for a diverse team of scientists, planners, and program staff to achieve desired outcomes for conserving biodiversity and delivering associated social and economic benefits, while supporting government’s overall goals for sustainable development. The Director also provides leadership to the negotiation, development and implementation of federal and partner agreements in support of the achievement of goals in this mandate area.


This work is guided primarily by the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act (EGCCRA), the Environment Act, the Wilderness Area Protection Act, and the Special Places Protection Act. Notably, the Director will lead the implementation of the EGCCRA goal to conserve at least 20% of land and water by 2030, and to develop a collaborative strategy by 2023 in support of achieving that goal.

Primary Accountabilities


As Director of Protected Areas and Ecosystems, you will provide vision, strategic oversight, and operational leadership for land and water protection in Nova Scotia by creating and maintaining a culture built on conservation science, partnerships, effective policy and programs, and the application of best practice approaches to conservation planning and protected areas management.


As a self-motivated leader, team player, and effective communicator, you will interact with a diverse range of partners, stakeholder groups, and other government agencies with an appropriate level of diplomacy. You will also be proactive and responsive to the needs of government and senior management, and maintain a high level of awareness within the protected areas field to respond to emerging issues and opportunities. 


Specifically, you will be accountable for:

  • Providing leadership, strategic direction and planning for the protection of sites as identified in the existing Parks and Protected Areas Plan, as well as the identification of new sites to support the EGCCRA goal to protect 20% of Nova Scotia’s lands and waters by 2030.
  • Leading programs of work to support the acquisition of priority private lands for protection, and for the identification and reporting of protected areas and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs).
  • Working with NS Mi’kmaq and partner departments toward the establishment of Mi’kmaq-led Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs).
  • Leading the planning and management of the provincial protected areas network composed of more than 160 wilderness area and nature reserves encompassing more than 500,000 hectares of Nova Scotia’s lands and waters.
  • Representing the department on provincial and national committees and working groups.
  • Providing broad oversight and direction to ensure the effective implementation of human resource strategies, budgets, Occupational Health & Safety and quality client service.
  • Supporting and overseeing staff preparation and presentation of recommendations and advice to senior management and the Minister on policies and initiatives relating to all aspects of the protected areas program.

Qualifications and Experience


As Director of Protected Areas and Ecosystems you will have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field as well as a minimum of 5 years of progressive experience as a leader. A master’s degree in a related field is an asset. Related fields include parks and protected areas, resource and environmental management, environmental or natural science, conservation or sustainable land use planning, wildlife and biodiversity conservation, and forestry. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be acceptable.

  • Requires broad experience in the field of protected areas and related land use planning and management and biodiversity conservation.
  • Must be strategically oriented and have experience managing complex interdisciplinary projects and programs, and a proven track record of developing partnerships at a senior level.
  • Experience related to leadership and management of human and financial resources is required along with a proven ability to recognize and develop the talents of others.
  • Have exceptional interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills, conflict resolution skills, and a demonstrated ability to establish collaborative relationships.
  • Must have experience in providing advice and developing recommendations to senior leadership, including the preparation of briefing notes, data, and presentations.


The following are considered assets:

  • Direct experience or familiarity with emerging work related to area-based conservation, ecological connectivity, ecological restoration, conservation financing, protection of species at risk, nature-based recreation etc.
  • Formal training or experience in areas such as project management, facilitation, public consultation, consensus building, continuous improvement, change management, strategic planning, and performance measurement.
  • Knowledge and experience in working with Indigenous partners in the spirit and practice of reconciliation.
  • The ability to handle public, stakeholder, and media inquiries on sensitive matters.
  • General knowledge in the use of ArcGIS or other software applications associated with land use planning and management.
  • Experience working with legislation, regulations, standards and policies.


Leadership competencies required at this level of work include:  Decisiveness, Strategic Orientation, Developing Others, Team Leadership, Self-Awareness and Personal Impact, Effective Interactive Communication, Partnering and Relationship Building, and Intercultural and Diversity Proficiency.



Applicants relying on education and experience equivalencies must demonstrate such equivalencies in their application.



Based on the employment status the Government of Nova Scotia offers its employees a wide range of benefits such as Health, Dental, Life Insurance, Pension, General Illness (Short and Long Term), Vacation and Employee and Family Assistance Programs. Click here to learn more about our various benefits offering and eligibility criteria. 

Working Conditions


  • Normal work week is 35 hours/week, 7 hours/day.
  • May be required to work overtime on occasion.
  • May occasionally be required to travel to meetings and work related events. 
  • May occasionally need to work and travel in remote wilderness locations using government vehicles, by foot or watercraft, or in government helicopters.

Additional Information


A valid driver’s license and access to a motor vehicle are required for this position.

What We Offer


  • Career development where you have access to career guidance, tools, resources, and ongoing training for every stage of your career
  • Engaging workplace: our employees feel valued, respected, connected, and tuned in, we have forward-thinking policies and strategies
  • Countless career paths
  • Department specific flexible working schedules



Pay Grade:  EC 14 

Salary Range:  $4,184.42 - $5,230.52 Bi-Weekly   


Employment Equity Statement:

Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve.  The Government of Nova Scotia has an Employment Equity Policy, and we welcome applications from Indigenous People, African Nova Scotians and Other Racially Visible Persons, Persons with Disabilities and Women in occupations or positions where they are under-represented.  If you are a member of one of these equity groups, you are encouraged to self-identify on your electronic application.


Current government employees may access this posting through the link below:



Offer of employment is conditional upon the completion of all applicable background checks and confirmation of credentials, the results of which must be satisfactory to the employer. We thank all applicants for the interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. All questions and concerns may be directed to