The Centre is managed by a Board of Directors, supported by an Advisory Council comprising individuals with expert knowledge of ecosystems and wild species within the Southern African region and the threats facing them, and expertise in relation to traditional knowledge and/ or working with Indigenous Peoples and communities within Southern Africa. The Advisory Council advises the Board on how to identify and prioritise legal interventions that will maximise the benefits for wild species and ecosystems within the Southern African region to best achieve the purpose of the Centre.
Kate Handley is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Biodiversity Law Centre. She holds an LLB and LLM in Environmental Law from the University of Cape Town with her research interests focusing on the policy and regulatory framework pertaining to biodiversity and protected areas. Kate is an experienced environmental attorney, having worked for more than a decade in private practice advising public and private sector clients, as well as civil society organisations, on a range of environmental and administrative law issues.
Always one to explore, in 2019, Kate embarked on the Pacific Crest Trail, hiking 2500km through the old growth forests and staggeringly beautiful mountains of California and Oregon. Passionate about the ecology of pristine habitats and the long-standing and integral coexistence of communities and wild spaces, Kate believes in the power of law to shape meaningful change. Kate’s connection with nature extends to her student days and has not only prompted a diverse career as an environmental lawyer, but also informs her vision of the Biodiversity Law Centre as an organisation which has an enduring impact on ensuring the preservation and flourishing of indigenous ecosystems.
Cormac Cullinan is one of the most widely experienced environmental lawyers in Southern Africa. Cormac is the founder of the Wild Law Institute, one of the founders of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and the director of the South Africa’s oldest specialist environmental and green business law firm, Cullinan & Associates Inc. in Cape Town.
Alexander (Sandy) Paterson is a professor of environmental law based at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town. He is director of the Institute and programme convener of its postgraduate degrees specializing in marine and environmental law. His research interests include biodiversity, protected areas, land-use planning and incentive-based environmental regulation. Prior to joining the Institute in 2004, he practised as an environmental attorney and environmental consultant for several years. He has also worked in the NGO sector monitoring the progression of environmental legislation through Parliament. He is a member of the IUCN World Commission of Environmental Law (WCEL), World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the Association of Environmental Law Lecturers from African Universities (ASSELLAU); and on the Editorial Board of the South African Journal of Environmental Law and Policy and the Chinese Journal of Environmental Law. On weekends you will find him up a mountain or surfing in the cold Atlantic Ocean.