Global Biocultural Diversity Programme Manager

Synchronicity Earth

Reporting to: Julie Thomas, Head of Conservation Programmes.

Contract Type: Full time, permanent (Part time candidates will be considered).

Number of days: 5 days a week (minimum 4 days a week if part time).

Location: Hybrid with minimum of 2 days per week at Synchronicity Earth’s
London office. (Remote working will be considered for the right candidate). Applicants must be
eligible to work in the UK.

Salary: £46,000 – £50,000 per annum FTE depending on experience plus benefits.

About this Role

This is an exciting time to join Synchronicity Earth’s Programme Team and support us to grow
the reach and impact of our work on Biocultural Diversity (BCD). Synchronicity Earth is a
biodiversity funder, providing grant support and wider organisational support to more than 90
organisations across six programmes. These partner organisations are often located in regions
of high biodiversity, but where threats to ecosystems are growing. Working across the globe,
Synchronicity Earth’s BCD programme supports partners to defend Indigenous and community
Territories of Life; protect and revive biological and cultural diversity; and increase
understanding of how biocultural approaches are integral to delivering conservation. As an
organisation we are committed to directly funding Indigenous People and Local Communities
(IPLCs) to lead efforts to protect biological and cultural diversity. We work to ensure our own
grant-making processes are accessible, and we actively share our learning and learn from others
in the sector. With growing global recognition that IPLCs are key to addressing the
biodiversity and climate crises and significant funding pledges to support this, it is a
critical moment for moving to locally led and owned approaches to conservation. This role
provides an opportunity to be part of supporting this change within the conservation and
philanthropic community.

Reporting to the Head of Conservation Programmes, you will be responsible for facilitating the
strategic development of the BCD programme and overseeing its delivery. This will involve
working closely with our network of regional staff and affiliates supporting work in Papua New
Guinea and Melanesia, SE Asia, Central Africa and Latin America, and a growing global network
of expertise. You will also work to support colleagues to further develop our rights-based
approach to conservation that recognises the importance of locally-led conservation across all
Synchronicity Earth’s programmes and work. Working with our Communications and Philanthropy
Teams you will continue to build our external networks with other funders, NGOs, and academia,
identifying opportunities to grow understanding and commitment to supporting the protection of
biological and cultural diversity.

Specific responsibilities will include the following:

1. Programme Management and Strategy Development

  • Facilitate the strategic development of the BCD programme, together with the Regional
    Melanesia BCD manager and Latin America and Congo Basin affiliates, and consider opportunities
    in SE Asia to raise the profile of indigenous groups in the region alongside our Asian Species
    programme officer.
  • Oversee Synchronicity Earth’s BCD programme, including the budget and its strategic
  • Manage the global network of BCD staff and affiliates (this currently includes the Regional
    Melanesia BCD manager based in PNG and the Latin America affiliate (UK-based).
  • Support existing and scope new BCD partners, working closely with the Programmes team,
    cultivating an open and trust-based relationship with these partners and undertaking
    appropriate due diligence.
  • Maintain a good understanding of all BCD partners and act as key spokesperson for the
    programme, including in fundraising meetings.
  • Co-ordinate updates to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and the Board on the BCD programme
    strategy, partners, funding recommendations, risk management and outcomes and impacts,
    including partners’ stories of change.

2. Building Synchronicity Earth’s expertise and knowledge

  • Keep up to date with global policies, legislation, and initiatives related to IPLC rights,
    IPLC-led conservation, land and marine tenure, and biocultural rights, and advise
    Synchronicity Earth on the implications and opportunities these present.
  • Work with colleagues in all teams to further develop Synchronicity Earths’ understanding
    and articulation of the importance of locally-led conservation, and support colleagues to
    further embed this understanding within their work (programmes; due diligence; monitoring, evaluation and learning;
    fundraising; and communications).
  • Work closely with the Knowledge and Learning Manager to explore how IPLC’s ways of knowing
    and observations of environmental and social change can inform Synchronicity Earth’s
    monitoring, evaluation, and learning framework.
  • Support learning and collaboration between partners and where appropriate share learnings
    with key audiences.

3. Partnership development with the wider conservation and grant-making community

  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with other grant makers, think tanks, NGOs, and
    global initiatives to leverage resources and/or amplify the impact of BCD partners’
  • Working across Synchronicity Earth, with our partners and collaborators (e.g. grant makers,
    NGOs), continue to:

    • grow understanding within the conservation community and support for IPLC led approaches to
      conservation that protect and respect biological and cultural diversity.
    • support the creation of spaces that bring together a diversity of perspectives and
      worldviews to ensure that the voices of those that have been marginalised from mainstream
      conservation are heard and respected in decision-making processes at national, regional and
      international levels.
  • Participate in and/or contribute to relevant external events, conferences, working groups,
    committees, or task forces to advance support for localised funding to IPLCs.

4. Fundraising

  • Work closely with the Philanthropy team to cultivate and maintain fundraising relationships
    and opportunities, including writing/contributing to donor reports and funding applications, and
    organising and participating in donor webinars as necessary.
  • Strengthen understanding and commitment amongst existing and potential donors of the
    importance of Indigenous led and localised approaches to conservation.
  • Work across Synchronicity Earth to support the creation of funding approaches that align
    with IPLC needs and trust-based values e.g. pooled funding, or endowment funds.

5. Communications and engagement

  • Collaborate with the communications team to promote the work of partners and strengthen
    understanding amongst key audiences of a biocultural approach to conservation.
  • Provide updates and produce content for communications materials as required (blogs,
    programme documents, website, social media, annual reports, etc.) and participate in, and
    present at Synchronicity Earth and external events as required.

About you

Essential skills and experience

  • Minimum 6 years’ proven experience of working at the intersection of human rights/social
    science and biological conservation, with at least 4 years’ experience in programme management
    including management of budgets.
  • Experience of working with or for IPLCs along with an in-depth understanding of indigenous
    rights, cultural heritage, and the challenges faced by indigenous communities globally.
  • Demonstrative experience of facilitating dialogue and building consensus between diverse
    groups of stakeholders, and co-creating programme strategies, e.g. managing multi-stakeholder
  • Experience of managing a globally distributed team.
  • Experience of both grant giving and receiving.

Your development: skills and experience from this role

The following list is meant to provide guidance for your application while also
demonstrating the type of skills and experience you will utilise and develop as part of this
role. If there is anything here which you currently have no experience in, but would like to
develop, then this would be a great role for you. Please let us know in your application if any
of these in particular appeal to you, or you have some experience already.

Key skills and training: strategic planning, trust-based grant making,
advocacy and relationship management.

  • Strategic and creative thinking, problem solving with minimal supervision and embedding new
    ideas within organisations.
  • Experience of cultivating and maintaining trust-based relationships with partners, donors,
    and colleagues and other stakeholders working in the field of conservation.
  • Excellent listening skills and willingness to serve others.
  • Supporting and/or advocating on behalf of partners.
  • Training in data entry and processing, including learning how to use Salesforce and
  • Gaining knowledge about trust-based philanthropic approaches.

About us

Synchronicity Earth is a UK-based, global
environmental charity which funds and supports organisations and individuals that aim to make
our planet a better place to live for all its inhabitants.

We are a medium-sized charity which supports partners working to protect less well-known
species and ecosystems around the world that receive less attention but face the greatest
threats. We do this through our conservation programmes, which identify, fund, and support
organisations with a focus on: Amphibians, Asian SpeciesBiocultural
Congo Basin,  Freshwater, and Oceans. We also support projects
across two other areas: the More than Carbon initiative, a portfolio of climate and
biodiversity projects targeted at corporate donors; and the Synchronicity Portfolio, which aims
to foster systemic change to promote a greater focus on biodiversity conservation within
different sectors. Our partners are mostly organisations embedded within their local
communities, and often projects which also consider social impacts such as women’s health and
empowerment, engagement with Indigenous Peoples, and sustainable livelihoods (e.g. small-scale
fisheries) in addition to wildlife conservation.

Our workplace values and culture

We pride ourselves on having an open and inclusive culture. Our team supports each other and
encourages new ideas and creativity to help us develop new projects and reach new audiences
with our work. We aim to apply the same dedication to a flourishing diversity of people and
wildlife on our planet through our programmes to our working environment and strive to make
this environment open and inclusive for everyone. We recognise that the environment sector in
the UK is close to the bottom in terms of the diversity of its employees, and we are actively
committed to doing what we can to change this.

Reporting, location, and work hours

This position is a permanent position that is based in Synchronicity Earth offices in Central
London, with the option for hybrid office/home working if the successful applicant wishes with
a minimum of 2 days a week in the office (laptop would be provided for home working). We will
consider a part-time candidate, with a minimum 4 days a week, and will also consider remote working with frequent visits to Synchronicity Earth’s London office for the
right candidate. The successful candidate must be eligible to work in the UK.

Annual leave

25 days per year for a full-time position (in addition to public holidays). We also run an
employer-supported volunteering programme, where employees may take additional time-off to
volunteer for community organisations and other charities (in accordance with our policy),
please see this supporting documentation for more information about our
employee benefits.

Application & Recruitment Process

Inclusion is a priority throughout our workplace culture and is embedded in our recruitment
process (we are actively still seeking to improve it through employee and candidate
suggestions). For example, the first stage of recruitment will be anonymised to mitigate
against unconscious bias. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds for this role,
particularly non-graduates, and are happy to discuss flexible working arrangements. Please let
us know at any stage during the recruitment process if you have any accessibility requirements
we can accommodate for you, and which pronouns you would like to be referred to by.

How to apply:

  1. Complete our candidate survey.
  2. Submit a cover letter (one side of A4) outlining any relevant skills and experience you
    have for this role, why it interests you, and any particular skills that you would like to
    develop in this role, with your CV (no longer than two sides of A4). Applications should be addressed to Julie Thomas and be sent via email to [email protected]. Please put ‘SE – Global BCD Programme Manager 2023’ in the subject

Closing date for applications: Midnight, 24th September 2023

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

We recognise that people from Black, Asian, and Minority-Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and people
with disabilities are under-represented in our sector, and that there are often additional
barriers present for people from these groups when applying for roles in the charity sector and
beyond. We aim to apply the same dedication to a flourishing diversity of people and wildlife
on our planet through our programmes and in our working environment and strive to make this
environment open and inclusive for everyone.

As part of our commitment to attract and retain talented individuals from under-represented
groups to the conservation and environment sector, if you belong to these groups, you can opt
in to the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) in our candidate survey. If you meet the essential
criteria for a role, you’ll be guaranteed a first-stage assessment. In most cases, this will be
a 20-minute interview held via Zoom, however, in the case of an extraordinary number of
applicants, the first-stage candidates (including GIS) will receive a short assessment. The
results of this assessment will be used to select candidates for the second-stage interview.

Expected first-stage interview dates: 2nd – 5th October 2023

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email/cover letter where ( you saw this job posting.

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