We are looking for TWO new Non-executive Directors

The Biodiversity Law Centre is recruiting two Non-executive Directors.

Why the Centre exists

The Biodiversity Law Centre is a non-profit environmental law organisation that has been established to use law to reverse the catastrophic decline of biodiversity in the Southern African region.

Human activities have initiated the 6th period of mass extinction, causing the extinction rate of species to increase more than 100-fold and a 68% average decline in the monitored population sizes of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish between 1970 and 2016. We have crossed the planetary boundary for biodiversity and are well into the danger zone where abrupt, irreversible and undesirable changes as a consequence of biodiversity loss are now likely. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has advised that rapid “transformative change” is now necessary to reverse this damage.

In order to bring about such change, the Centre uses a variety of legal interventions including advocacy, strategic litigation and collaboration with partner organisations to protect and restore indigenous species and ecosystems in Southern Africa.

The role

The Centre invites applicants to join this exciting organisation as a Non-executive Director. The appointed Directors must be aligned to the values of the Centre and be committed to reversing the rapid loss of biodiversity in a proactive and reactive manner, promoting regional collaboration, and supporting the role of communities and community organisations in protecting the ecosystems of which they are a part.

The Centre is committed to the establishment of a board of directors which comprises the appropriate balance of knowledge, skills, experience, diversity and independence to support the Centre in achieving its objectives and to enable the board to discharge its governance role and responsibilities objectively and effectively.

The Centre was established in 2022. As a new organisation, directors are required to take an active and engaged role, supporting the Executive Director in execution of the Centre’s mandate.

Qualifications, skills and experience

Suitably qualified candidates, with experience in one or more of the following areas, are encouraged to apply, but preference in this round of recruitment will be given to candidates with skills and experience in marine conservation, and candidates with skills and experience in financial management, governance, and / or board membership of nonprofit organisations:

  • Marine conservation
  • Community-based ecological conservation
  • Financial management and/or fundraising
  • Management and/or board membership of nonprofit organisations
  • Human resource management
  • Governance
  • Strategic communications and/or public relations
  • Knowledge and experience working with environmental policies in the African context

Candidates must have a clear understanding of the fiduciary duties of a director and demonstrate the qualities of integrity, conscience, competence, courage and commitment.

Non-executive director positions will not be remunerated, but all reasonable and agreed travel expenses to attend the Centre’s board meetings will be covered by the organisation.

Key responsibilities

The primary purpose of the board is to provide guidance and oversight to the Biodiversity Law Centre. The key responsibilities of the board are:

  • to attend quarterly meetings (two in-person in Cape Town, and two online);
  • to develop and review the strategic direction of the Centre, including its Theory of Change, and monitor the Centre’s activities to ensure it continues to work towards its strategic objectives;
  • to monitor the organisational affairs, policies and compliance environment of the Centre;
  • to oversee the Centre’s risk management policy and the implementation and ongoing monitoring of risk management;
  • to evaluate the performance of management and the board;
  • to monitor and provide input on the appointment and activities of the Advisory Council, and guide the Executive Director in engagements with the 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), whose function is to advise the Board on identifying and prioritising legal interventions;
  • to assist in ensuring the Centre’s compliance with various CIPC, NPO and PBO requirements;
  • to interrogate the financial statements and performance of the Centre; and
  • to approve the Centre’s annual budget.

The Director will be appointed for a term of THREE YEARS.

How to apply

Please email Kate Handley at kate@biodiversitylaw.org with a brief cover letter explaining your interest in and suitability for this role, as well as a copy of your CV.

CLOSING DATE: 14 June 2024