Bialowieza National Park will have a new director – recruitment is underway

Białowieski Park Narodowy

The Climate Ministry has announced a competition for the position of director of Bialowieza National Park, initiating a process that will have a significant impact on the future of one of Poland’s most valuable natural areas. Unsurprisingly, interest in it is high among industry professionals, the public and nature lovers alike. Bialowieza National Park is a national treasure, and the change in this position comes with many expectations and hopes for the effective protection of the best-preserved part of the primeval forest of the European Lowlands. Choosing the right professional to hold this office is key to a well-directed strategy for managing the park and protecting its biodiversity.

Bialowieza National Park

Bialowieza National Park is a unique area that delights with its extraordinary nature and rich history. Located in northeastern Poland, near the border with Belarus, it is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. At its heart is the Bialowieza Forest, the last fragment of primary lowland forest on the continent, home to many species of plants and animals, including the park’s symbol – the European bison. The park is not only a national treasure, but also a world natural heritage site. Today, however, it faces serious challenges. The changing climate and anthropopressure, including infrastructure development or logging, are threatening these unique ecosystems. Protecting the unique biodiversity and sustainable management are key challenges the new director will face.

New management for Bialowieza National Park – recruitment begins

In the first few days of the new year, the Minister of Economic Affairs. Climate and Environment Minister Paulina Hennig-Kloska has decided to dismiss the director of the Bialowieza National Park, Dr. hab. Michal Krzysiak, who had held the position for more than five years. His duties have now been taken over by Alexander Bolbot, formerly deputy director of the nature conservation. On January 23, 2024. A notice has been published in the ministry’s Public Information Bulletin announcing the start of the recruitment process for the position of park director.

Criteria and expectations for the new director of the Bialowieza National Park

To apply for the position of director of the Bialowieza National Park, candidates must meet a number of specific requirements:

  • Polish citizenship;
  • Master’s degree or equivalent education;
  • The candidate should have adequate knowledge and education in areas related to the duties of the National Park Director, such as environmental protection, economics, environmental law, accounting, public finance, labor law, and knowledge of the operation of the Bialowieza National Park;
  • At least 6 years of work experience is required, including at least 3 years in a managerial position;
  • The candidate should have leadership skills such as team management, strategic management, work organization, effective decision-making and accountability, communication skills, and the ability to collaborate.

In addition, a person applying for the position of national park director must be eligible to hold public office, must not have been convicted of an intentional crime or fiscal crime by a final court judgment, and must not be prohibited from holding positions related to the disposal of public funds. Additional strengths include possession of a master’s degree or equivalent in natural sciences or forestry, self-presentation skills, communicative English skills, and work experience related to nature conservation, including work in national parks.

Responsibilities

Organizers of the national park director competition place a number of requirements on candidates, including the expectation of extensive conservation knowledge, management skills, as well as the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively. Not without reason. The new director will be responsible for managing the park, developing and implementing strategies for the protection and development of the unit, issuing ordinances, conducting proceedings and participating in hearings, as well as working with other institutions. The director’s duties also include representing the park on the national and international stage.

The recruitment process for the position of the new director of the Bialowieza National Park involves five stages, including an application assessment, a knowledge test, a management concept presentation and an interview. The application deadline is February 12, 2024. Candidates can deliver their documents in person to the office or send them by mail to the address of the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

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