CareersNovember 1, 2021 11:13 am
Action4Justice in collaboration with The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (‘IHRDA’) is seeking a Climate Change and Biodiversity Coordinator.
Based in: IHRDA Offices in Banjul, The Gambia.
Salary: In the region of USD 35,000 per year.
Hours: Full time
Duration: two years.
Starting in: December 2021.
Applications are being accepted until 21st November at 23.59 GMT.
To apply, please send a one-page cover letter and CV to email@example.com
Action4Justice is a global civil society platform that was formed by a coalition of NGOs including Greenpeace, Oxfam, Transparency International, the Forest People’s Programme and IHRDA. It seeks to build capacity, redistribute legal knowledge, create partnerships between legal activists, and empower communities through the creation of an informative platform to improve access to justice by providing practical advice on how legal action can be used for social justice.
Legal action is generally out of reach to the vast majority of people who need it most. This is because:
- Law is complex and can be difficult to understand;
- There can be legal and procedural barriers that stop you from using legal action;
- There can be practical difficulties in using legal action (e.g., costs, time, security threats); and
- People often don’t know what they’re rights are and how they can be enforced
To fulfil this need, we created a platform to enable civil society organisations, practitioners and communities to access information about their rights and how to enforce them. We want to provide those in need with simple, practical and accessible resources to understand when and how legal action can be used to solve problems, deliver systemic change, and in doing so, reinforce the rule of law. More information about Action4Justice can be found at https://action4justice.org/what-we-do-and-how-to-use-this-website/
The Climate Change and Biodiversity in Africa Project
Climate change and biodiversity is one of the areas in which simple, practical and accessible resources are limited. Furthermore, there is even less information which is tailored to the realities in Africa and is also practical. Action4Justice has already produced a practical, step-by-step Climate Change Litigation Guide, which is designed to assist communities, CSOs and lawyers to assess the viability of and take legal action to combat climate change. The Guide may be accessed online and in PDF format by clicking here. The guide comes with several complementary materials including:
- Templates for each of these legal responses to support those who wish to start legal action, so that they can draw on precedents from claim forms or similar documents;
- Topic Sheets which are intended to be solutions to a specific legal problem that recurs in climate litigation (e.g. justiciability); and
- Climate Litigation Matrix, which is a consolidated table intended to show a summary of the key legal issues and elements of various types of climate-related legal action.
The Climate Change and Biodiversity in Africa Project will use the Climate Change Litigation Guide as a resource and will create, adapt and disseminate practical “how to” resources and workshops in relation to using the law in this way and build on existing networks at national, regional and international levels. The aim is to improve access to justice by providing tailored practical information, legal empowerment and education and building networks in areas which impact the rights and lives of poor and marginalised communities in Africa. The project will adapt to the needs of each country and community in terms of specific content, languages, and challenges. It will also address public interest litigation strategies. The key beneficiaries are community groups, local lawyers and CSOs in Africa, but the project and role of the Coordinator will have a global as well as regional aspect.
The Climate Change and Biodiversity Coordinator
A Climate Change and Biodiversity Coordinator will drive this project. Based in The Gambia, the Coordinator will enhance collaboration within African countries on Climate Change and Biodiversity. They will also create, adapt and disseminate practical “how to” resources in relation to using the law in this way and build on existing networks at national, regional and international levels.
Action4Justice has partnered with IHRDA to host in their offices a Climate Change and Biodiversity Coordinator in The Gambia. IHRDA will be the direct employer, but the Coordinator will liaise closely with Action4Justice staff, who will oversee the progress of the project itself. A4J will provide (remote by email/Zoom etc) appropriate induction/support and supervision in relation to A4J system and procedures and to the work done by the Coordinator. The Coordinator will prepare monthly reports to A4J, including by way of monitoring and evaluation, and communicate with A4J on Zoom calls approximately every two weeks.
Duties and responsibilities
Over the duration of the project, the Coordinator, supported by IHRDA, will be responsible for leading the conversation between local/regional public bodies, litigants, communities and civil society to support the development of the following:
- Creation of reports to identify the current state of legal intervention, local needs and key actors/institutions in the region relevant to A4J’s objectives and Climate Change/Biodiversity;
- Development of tailored Climate Change and Biodiversity content and resources: The production of locally relevant and appropriate versions of existing guides and ensuring their use and dissemination by local networks via appropriate media, including social media, and in other languages where appropriate;
- Development of a Climate Change and Biodiversity network that increases access to knowledge, improves collaboration amongst and facilitates information-sharing on specific Climate Change and Biodiversity issues amongst CSOs and pro bono lawyers to enhance the provision of relevant legal and access to justice services;
- Coordination of Climate Change and Biodiversity discussions, training and workshops.
- Strengthening the IHRDA Case Law Analyser to accommodate Climate Change and Biodiversity cases.
The Coordinator’s primary reporting line will be to the A4J co-ordinator/project officer but will report to IHRDA management on logistics such as office space, IT requirements etc. The Coordinator will prepare monthly reports to A4J and such other reports as the project funder, FILE, or A4J may require, including by way of monitoring and evaluation, and have a call with A4J approximately every two weeks.
Job Description and key requirements
The main elements of the role are to promote practical legal knowledge and know how on climate change and biodiversity issues, and specifically:
- Coordinating with CSOs, lawyers, community groups, paralegals, both in the country where the Coordinator was located and across the A4J network; In particular coordinating collaboration on use of a mixture of local knowledge and skills with international mechanisms and international legal remedies/solutions;
- Producing locally relevant and appropriate versions of existing guides and ensuring their use and dissemination by local networks via appropriate media, including social media, and in other languages where appropriate; Using feedback from interactions with local actors to ensure that resources/content is needs driven; and
- Facilitating discussion/training/workshops.
- Alignment with A4J mission/vision and thus:
- Interest in promoting rule of law and access to justice in the Global South;
- Interest in legal interventions in areas of environment and human rights;
- Personal qualities of integrity, honesty, reliability;
- Commitment to equality and diversity;
- Minimum 3 years’ experience in public interest type litigation in the fields of Climate Change and/or Biodiversity;
- Hands on litigation knowledge and/or experience as practitioner, CSO representative or academic;
- Fluency or at least working proficiency in English;
- Highly networked in relevant fields;
- Desirable additional skills:
- IT/comms/social media;
- Legal experience on specific topics/specific countries generating content; and
- Management and admin skills.
- Preference will be given to a candidate who is:
(i) Enterprising and a “self-starter” and able to work with limited supervision;
(ii) Able to work with civil society groups and lawyers at all levels including grassroots levels; and
(iii) Is capable of collaborating with others to come up with innovative legal strategies to address climate change and biodiversity issues.
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This post was written by eliana