Front page of the advert featuring the summary and CLN logo.

We are hiring an Executive Director

The Community Leaders Network of Southern Africa (CLN) is a registered voluntary association, with its Secretariat based in Namibia. It is a regional network of indigenous peoples and local communities that promotes the rights, well-being, and sustainable development of indigenous communities in Southern Africa. 

CLN is managed by an Executive committee comprising participating national associations and runs a lean secretariat. An opportunity has arisen to employ an Executive Director on a 12-months renewable contract basis.

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES
The Executive Director will work under the direct supervision of the CLN Executive Committee through the chairperson of the Network. The officer holder will also work directly with the national focal persons, and national network and member associations to the network. The main task of the ED is to ensure that CLN’s mandate to empower the national networks and their constituent members is achieved. He will play a key role in providing administrative and strategic leadership, fundraising, stakeholder engagement, and partnership building and provide policy support and guidance to the Executive Committee. He/She will also be responsible for facilitating and arranging meetings of the committee, including planning and reporting on the activities regularly to the committee, affiliate members, and other stakeholders.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS

Education:

Holder of a Master’s degree in Natural resources management, Development Economics, CBNRM, Agriculture and other Social Science DisciplineHolder of PhD in Natural Resources Management, Development Economics, CBNRM, agriculture and other social science discipline will have a greater advantage.

Work Experience:

Over 10 years of experience having worked in at least 3-5 SADC states supporting effective implementation of Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).Experience in working with and establishment of national and regional networks.Experience in National, regional, and global advocacy, and fair understanding of the working of global treaties such as CBD, CITES, IUCN APAC, etc.

Language Proficiency:

Fluency in written and spoken English. A working knowledge of Portuguese and French would be an advantage.

Download full job description and how to apply by clicking here.

A woman stands facing the camera amongst her soya crops near Kasungu, Malawi.

Using soybeans to improve livelihoods and promote biodiversity conservation around Kasungu National Park, Malawi.

Communities living around Kasungu National Park in Malawi traditionally grow maize to feed their families and a few other cash crops to generate income. High poverty levels and declining soil fertility have driven some community members into the neighbouring park to clear more land, hunt wildlife or harvest wood illegally to make ends meet. Kasungu Wildlife Conservation and Community Development Association (KAWICCODA) have started a transformative project with support from the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme to help change this situation using soybeans.

Soybeans are a cash crop that naturally fix nitrogen in the soil and thus improve soil fertility whilst simultaneously providing a steady income for cash-strapped households. This initiative, which includes promoting soybean farming among other activities, aims to strike a harmonious balance between biodiversity conservation and sustainable community development. This project targets local communities living within 5 km of the buffer zone around Kasungu National Park. 

More than 300 farming families benefited from this project by obtaining 40 kg of soybean seeds each, which are expected to yield an average of 500 kg per field. As a sustainability measure, each beneficiary will give 110 kg back to the project after the first harvest, thus allowing more families to benefit during the next round of distribution.

As the project unfolded, a group of enthusiastic beneficiaries – primarily farmers in the two traditional authorities of Chisinga and Kaphaizi – embarked on a journey of change and empowerment. Through intensive training sessions organised by KAWICCODA, these community members gained valuable insights into sustainable soybean farming practices. The training covered a variety of topics including soil management, crop rotation, pest control, and efficient water usage. 

Armed with newfound knowledge, the beneficiaries eagerly embraced the challenge of incorporating sustainable agricultural techniques into their daily practices. 40-year old Josephine Mwandira of Group Village Headman Chimombo under Mpepa Cooperative excitedly reported that, “having access to extension services will only improve my knowledge and ultimately improve the yield I expect to get from the 40 kg of soybean seeds I have benefited from the BIOPAMA project.” 

The BIOPAMA project is tracking and measuring the impact of these interventions on both the environment and the lives of the local communities as part of its monitoring and evaluation framework. Regular assessments will be conducted to gauge the improvement in soil health, the reduction of deforestation, and overall ecological resilience in the buffer zones.

As the soybean crop is expected to flourish due to the hard work of farmers tangible benefits are expected to unfold. The soybean cultivation not only provides a diversified and sustainable source of income for the beneficiaries but also contributes to the conservation goals of BIOPAMA by reducing the pressure on natural resources within the buffer zones.

The monitoring and evaluation team will also measure the economic status of the participating communities, which is expected to improve substantially. Income generated from soybean sales will empower families to meet their basic needs, invest in education, and improve healthcare. Reduced poverty levels should reduce these households’ reliance on illegal activities that could harm the biodiversity of Kasungu National Park.

Moreover, the project has facilitated increased cooperation among farmers living in this area. Farmers will use the Mpepa and Chengwe Cooperatives to share knowledge, pool resources, and collectively market their soybean produce. This collaborative approach will not only strengthen community bonds but also enhance the overall resilience of the local agricultural system.

At the start of this new era of soybean cultivation and farmer cooperation, we are confident that the communities around Kasungu National Park will be transformed into thriving examples of sustainable coexistence between people and nature. The soybean project, under the watchful eye of BIOPAMA and implemented by the dedicated KAWICCODA team, has become a beacon of hope, illustrating how careful planning, community involvement, and effective monitoring can lead to a future where biodiversity conservation and human prosperity walk hand in hand.

CLN logo and summary of job advert.

We are hiring an Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Coordinator!

Job Summary

The Community Leaders Network of Southern Africa seeks a highly motivated and experienced Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Officer (IPLCs Officer) to lead and support the implementation of initiatives that promote the rights, well-being, and sustainable development of indigenous communities in the region. This position will be responsible for fostering strategic partnerships, capacity building, and policy advocacy to advance the rights and interests of indigenous peoples in collaboration with local, national, and international stakeholders.

Overall, this post will provide technical and capacity-building assistance to CLN member Organizations (including all categories of membership) and serve as the primary relationship manager for IPLC partners, as expert and resource person on Indigenous Peoples and conservation issues for cross-cutting capacity, policy, and knowledge activities.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree in a relevant field, such as international relations, conservation leadership, social sciences, or environmental studies.

  • Minimum 5-7 years’ experience as an indigenous leader or another professional role who has worked closely with, and on a mandate from, indigenous peoples.

  • Demonstrated experience in liaising with Indigenous peoples and local community groups, networks, and regional/international organizations.

  • At least 3-5 years’ experience in direct field-based delivery and project management.

  • Strong understanding of global conservation policies and frameworks related to

    Indigenous peoples.

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, for effective representation and reporting.

  • Ability to travel regionally and internationally to attend conferences and events.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft applications and online platforms for communication and

    information sharing.

Availability: This position is available immediately

Salary and other benefits: Negotiable based on qualifications and work experience

Closing date of receiving applications: 26 February 2024, please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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Community conservation efforts in Southern Africa started in the 1980s and have since taken slightly different paths towards including rural communities in the wildlife economy and nature conservation. Over the years there have been some exchange visits and other events to increase communication among the community conservation stakeholders in these countries, but such opportunities remain rare. 

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It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that we note the passing of CLN Vice Chairperson Comrade Charles Jonga.

 

Charles was an icon, a legend and exemplary leader for community conservation. Comrade Jonga was not just a pillar for CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe but an inspiration to young conservation leaders across Southern Africa.

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As the Chairperson of Community Leaders Network of Southern Africa, I participated in the recent 22nd Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held in New York, USA. It was a real eye opener for me, as I started to appreciate the challenges, abuse and human rights infringements that over 6.7 million indigenous peoples around the world have had to endure. 

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Community Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Tanzania are lands designated for wildlife conservation and managed by rural communities. Every five years, the villages associated with particular WMAs elect leaders to run their Community-Based Organisation (CBO) that is recognised by government as an Authorised Association mandated to manage their WMAs. Well-managed WMAs should achieve the twin goals of wildlife conservation and generating socio-economic benefits for community members.

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