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National Coordinator – EDEN Creation Care Initiative

Purpose of position:

The National Coordinator provides strategic leadership to Eden and leads the management team so as to achieve the organization’s vision, mission and objectives as laid down by the Board of Directors. Together with the Chair, they enable the Board of Directors to fulfil its duties and responsibilities for the proper governance of Eden and ensure that the Board receives timely advice and appropriate information on all relevant matters.

Position:
National Coordinator
Position type:
Full-Time, Permanent
Location:
Jos, Plateau State 
Salary:
Nigeria Competitive Salary
Start Date:
As soon as possible

The key areas of responsibility of this role are:

  1. Strategic Leadership: development and implementation of the organizational vision andstrategy in consultation with the Board of Directors.
  2. Organizational Leadership, including preparation of action plans, effective implementation ofnature conservation projects and initiatives, monitoring and evaluation of conservationprojects and management staff and volunteers.
  3. External Representation, Networking and Advocacy.
  4. Spiritual Leadership of Staff.
  5. Health, Safety and Security of Staff.

Qualification, Professional Experience and Interests

Work with the ARI Executive Director to design and implement fundraising strategies for A Rocha’s mission, priorities, and goals

  • A first degree from an accredited education institution. Possession of a degree in Environmental Sciences, Development Management, Business Management
  • or related areas or a Master’s degree in a relevant area is an advantage.
  • A minimum of 5 years of work experience in leadership and management roles, which are relevant to the duties and responsibilities of the advertised position.
  • A committed Christian, and in agreement with Eden’s Declaration of Faith.
  • Practical involvement in local church and/or other Christian ministry preferably related to environmental conservation, leadership development, church and community mobilization or poverty alleviation.
  • Experience in designing, implementing and managing environmental conservation and/or community development projects funded by external donors will be an added advantage.

Person Specification

The ideal candidate should:

  • Provide inspirational leadership to a diverse, cross-functional team.
  • Have the capacity to effectively represent Eden in public and private meetings.
  • Have strong interpersonal and communication skills (written and spoken) and excellent command of the English language.
  • Be able to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Strong organizational and planning skills
  • Have the ability to multi-task and manage multiple simultaneous projects and activities, ensuring that key deadlines and milestones are met.
  • Have experience with computer systems, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Be able to produce high quality project progress reports, updates and project funding proposals for various audiences.
  • Ability to work cross-culturally and ion teams.
  • Financial management, including budget development.
  • The use of video conferencing such as Zoom and Skype, experience in facilitating training ,risk assessment and Management and fund-raising are added advantage.

Travel

The successful candidates must be willing to travel to project locations and attend meetings in other parts of the country, sometimes at a short notice, and work some evenings and weekends. And occasional international travel to attend training events, conferences or visit other conservation projects, subject to funding being available for this.

Accountability and Supervision

The National Coordinator reports directly to the Chair of the Board of Directors.


How to Apply

To apply for this post, please email the following information to [email protected]

by 12 noon on 15th October 2022: 

  • Your CV/resume
  • a covering letter explaining how you believe you meet the criteria described in the Person Specification.
  • Contact details of three referees, one of whom should be either your current line manager, or immediate past supervisor, and any other person in a professional capacity, and your local pastor, or church leader.

Please indicate in the subject line of your email that you are applying for the post of National Coordinator. Applicants may address the covering letter to the Board Chairperson. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No accommodation or relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position. Original proof of qualifications are expected at the interview.

Please note:

  • The candidate needs to have the legal right to live and work in Nigeria
  • Background checks will be carried out on the successful candidate prior to offering him/her the job to rule out any unspent criminal conviction(s).
  • Short-listed candidates will be asked to make a 10-minute presentation on a given topic at the start of the interview as well as taking a practical test on the use of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel spreadsheets.
  • Both male and female candidates are encouraged to apply.
  • There will be no discrimination against disabled applicants. Disabled will be given equal opportunities as long as the person is fit for the job.
  • Eden offers training to staff of all categories so as to enhance their performance and achieve results or set targets and it also remits a monthly pension contribution to its staff’s pension.

You can find our more about Eden’s work here: nigeria.arocha.org

Due to the expected high number of applications, please note that only short-listed candidates will be further contacted. Interview dates will be communicated duly to short-listed candidates.

A-Rocha-Table

A Gathering at the Table

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new initiative: a community of regular givers who are committed to seeing nature flourish. We’re calling it the ‘A Rocha Table’ and we’d love you to join! Thanks to A Rocha’s fabulous supporters, we have been responding to the global crisis of biodiversity loss for nearly 40 years, and we believe it’s this long-term commitment to people and places that makes the difference. By setting up a regular donation to A Rocha International you can help be a part of this commitment to caring for our most vulnerable habitats, species and communities and help us make longer term plans with confidence. We want to make sure you know how much your giving matters. Every six months, we’ll send you an issue of our ‘Table Talk’ emailing. It will contain highlights from the A Rocha Worldwide Family, invitations to exclusive online events and special discounts on A Rocha books and publications. We hope it will be a way for us to keep in touch with you better and help you feel more connected to A Rocha around the world. We hope to see you at the Table soon!

Sign up to the A Rocha Table

Friends-of

Making Friends in Central America

Around the world, Christians are coming together to care for creation – and A Rocha is lending a hand through the Friends of A Rocha Network. Network members are groups and organizations, led by committed Christians, who are undertaking biodiversity conservation and interested in sharing and learning together with like-minded groups around the world. 

To learn more about the current Friends and to see if your group could apply, see the Friends page. Meanwhile, meet our two most recent members: 

Casa Adobe is an intentional Christian community rooted in Santa Rosa, Heredia Province, Costa Rica. It was born in 2013 when people from different contexts and cultures came together with a common goal: to be good neighbours. Casa Adobe seeks to promote integral human development, facilitate cultural interchange amongst people from different contexts, care for the environment and stimulate its protection. 

Their current environmental activities include a local community composting project and a plan to recover one of Casa Adobe’s most neglected ‘neighbours’, the Virilla River. The Virilla flows down from its source in the cloud forests through densely populated areas where it is impacted by sewage, litter and degraded riverine forest. Casa Adobe is re-engaging the community with the river and liaising with other stakeholders. 

 

Huellas Panamá (meaning ‘Footprints’) was born in 2018 as a project in Kuna Nega, an indigenous settlement heavily impacted by the operation of Cerro Patacón, one of the main landfills in Panama. The original project raised environmental awareness in the community through the community church and setting up a waste collection point. 

Huellas Panamá is now setting up an online Virtual Academy to promote creation care theology and wiser consumption habits; supporting recycling as they can (there is no recycling collection in Panama!) and litter clean-ups; and developing an Eco Tours Programme to create opportunities for friendship, recreation and learning about caring for the earth.  

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Planting trees and restoring ecosystems in Australia

During another wet winter, A Rocha Australia has been getting their hands dirty by planting native plants and nurturing relationships with the communities who care for them.  

Volunteers from A Rocha Australia were invited by Clyde and Rose Rigney – elders from the Raukkan aboriginal community – to help with revegetation events in partnership with Cassina Environmental in South Australia. In June, over 30 people braved challenging weather to plant 1700 seedlings! In August, a smaller group planted 584 seedlings at Mount Sandy and 325 seedlings at Raukkan, this time in lovely sunshine. Alongside tree planting, the Rigneys offered inspiring hospitality, with singing round the fire, hot drinks, delicious food and inspirational storytelling.  

Another planting session was organised by Onkaparinga council staff at Hart Road Wetland, the traditional lands of the Kaurna people. Twenty adults and four children gathered to plant about 380 native plants. Several of these are endemic to South Australia, including Atriplex paludosa, Goodenia amplexans and Thomasia petalocalyx. These plants are not only unique to their particular area, but they are also critical to maintaining biodiversity. 

With their project in Toowoomba escarpment parks, A Rocha Australia goes beyond planting seedlings to protecting mature plants in Queensland. Partnering with Friends of the Escarpment Parks, A Rocha controls invasive weeds at three bushland parks which contain endangered ecosystems. At Redwood Park, A Rocha removes Cat’s claw creeper Dolichandra unguis-cati. This aptly named invasive plant is one of several that smother trees and shrubs, destroying the canopy and harming the ecosystem. Creeper control is slow and labourious work but highly rewarding as mature trees are cut free and seedlings are discovered underneath masses of removed creeper. The vulnerable Black-breasted Button-quail Turnix melanogaster has raised several sets of young under the semi-evergreen vine-thicket (‘dry rainforest’).  

In the eucalypt forest of Nielsen Park, A Rocha volunteers remove other choking weeds, allowing indigenous understory species to establish. And there are already positive results: bird surveys have found that several small bird species persist in the now generous cover of shrubs, including the first ever sightings of the ground-feeding Painted Button-quail Turnix varius in the park! 

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A Place at the Table

Hospitality and community have been part of what it means to be A Rocha since the very beginning. In a new book co-written by Miranda Harris, a co-founder, and her daughter Jo Swinney, our Director of Communications, these themes are explored in the context of the many colourful stories of A Rocha tables around the world, inviting us all to a deeper relationship with each other, the earth and the God who invites us to feast with gratitude and generosity. Miranda’s tragic death in 2019 was a shock to many around the world who found her approach to hospitality and community a life-long inspiration. Published posthumously, A Place at the Table explores the transformative way in which sharing food is at the heart of a shared life. 

All royalties will go towards the work of the A Rocha worldwide family. You can support our work and be among the first to get your hands on a copy in early September by pre-ordering HERE.  Why not get one for yourself and one for a friend?  

This short film tells the story of how the book came about. You might want to have tissues to hand. 

For photographs, event information and more, visit placeatthetable.info    
Bob and Margaret Pullan 1983

In grateful remembrance of Bob Pullan

Photo caption: Bob and Margaret Pullan, 1983

A Rocha is grieving the loss of Bob Pullan who was the first chair of the A Rocha trustees in 1983 when the organization was established. At the time he was a senior lecturer in bio-geography at Liverpool University and had extensive experience of living and working in Africa. He was also church warden of St Mary’s Upton on Merseyside in the UK which was effectively the founding church for the fledgling project.

His first response on being asked to take on the role proved to be prophetic when he said ‘My life is ready for a new direction’. Many A Rocha members from UK gave their time and talents during the early years during which the first field study centre was established on the Alvor estuary in Portugal, but none gave more than Bob who with his wife Margaret saw their home overrun with volunteers, sweatshirts for sale, and publicity materials as they offered hospitality to many visitors. He led field expeditions for his students to stay in the centre and contributed some of the early work that surveyed disappearing wetlands and other habitats. The tradition of rigorous science and lively faith which has remained an A Rocha constant around the world owes a great deal to Bob’s initial leadership and his wisdom will be hugely missed.

Queen Elizabeth tree planting - cropped (David McKay)

Environmental education: sowing seeds for a sustainable world

In May, A Rocha staff, and Ugandan teachers and church leaders gathered at Kira Farm in Uganda for the A Rocha environmental education conference and workshops. 

The five-day conference was part of A Rocha International’s ongoing work to strengthen capacity for environmental education and build on the excellent work already being carried out by A Rocha organizations across Africa. Participants learned about the role of environmental education for reconnecting people and nature and for inspiring action for a sustainable world. They were encouraged to reimagine how they could be more effective and reach a wider audience, including sharing new methods for delivering environmental education. 

As part of the workshops, 35 teachers and six church leaders visited Kiteezi Church of Uganda Primary School near Kampala. Five years ago, Ibrahim Ssekama, one of the school’s teachers, asked A Rocha Uganda for help growing vegetables around the school grounds and incorporating environmental topics into the curricula. Since then, the school has received fruit trees through Gifts with a Difference, and they have extended the area for growing crops. Now they have huge cabbages and lots of other vegetables growing, and their whole compound is looking very green. Sack gardens demonstrate what can be done where land is scarce and plastic bottles are reused for growing seedlings. 

The teachers and church leaders went home equipped with new ideas, and enthused by a deeper understanding and with a stronger commitment to caring for creation in their work and communities.  

The conference and workshops could not have taken place without the generosity of all those who supported A Rocha International during the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2021. Thank you for enabling work like this to happen! 

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The John Stott Birding Day

John Stott was at the forefront of bringing creation care to the attention of the global Church. He cared deeply for the plight of the planet because he was hardwired with a love of nature in general and of birds in particular. He was among the first and most faithful friends A Rocha has had and so last year, in celebration of the centenary of his birth, we launched the John Stott Memorial Birding Day. Participants in 21 countries took part in a bird race, seeing an amazing combined total of 1089 species in 24 hours!  

This year, we have an audacious goal. Will you help us reach John Stott’s life total of 2000 species? We are joining ebird’s Global Big Day, using their platform for record keeping. You can take part as an individual, but we recommend you form a team of three to five.  

Take part in the bird race on 14 or 15 May or go on a John Stott-inspired retreat using our resource. Visit www.johnstottbirdingday.com for more information. 

Here are the winners from last year

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When is a woodland not a woodland? When it’s a wetland.

Did you know the Dakatcha Woodland in Kenya is also a seasonal wetland? 2022 is the first year that World Wetlands Day has been observed officially by the United Nations. Wetlands, like forests, can act as ‘carbon sinks’, attracting carbon and sequestering it so that it cannot escape into our atmosphere. Wetlands like Dakatcha are also home to incredible biodiversity.  

Sadly, wetlands are under threat. Mining and agricultural activities have destroyed nearly half of Kenya’s wetlands over the past 50 years. A report by the National Environmental Complaints Committee found that the area of wetlands had shrunk by around 40% between 1970 and 2021.   

The seasonal wetlands of Dakatcha Forest are the known breeding grounds of Clarke’s Weaver, an endangered bird found only in Kilifi County. They are particularly at risk because they appear dry for much of the year, which means the forest is converted into agricultural land. 

One of the problems A Rocha Kenya is facing is selective logging for charcoal production and pineapple farming. With easy access to chainsaws and motorbikes to transport charcoal, forest clearing has intensified in recent months, and the indigenous forest is being burnt down at an alarming rate. In turn, the price of land is also increasing as local landowners then sell their land to speculative buyers and companies interested in pineapple farming in the rich red magarini soil. 

A Rocha Kenya continues to work to secure this land before it is lost. Scouts govern the forest to make sure the area is well protected and to resolve any conflicts that may arise. The science team also go for a one-week camping trip in Dakatcha each month to record the biodiversity and set the foundation for future research and conservation decisions.

Wild-and-Wonderful

Wild and Wonderful

Wild and Wonderful is a website with free Eco resources for schools, churches and families. The school resources were initially created for A Rocha Netherlands by long time A Rocha friend Petra Crofton.  

The Explore Creation pack for churches links Bible, ecology and creation care and consists of six sessions about life in different places such as the dark, the sky, and the water. Each session offers outdoor and indoor activities.  

There is an Explore Creation workshop for schools too, with ‘Life’ stations and mini-activities. The resources have been tried and tested for nearly ten years and are meant to inspire and encourage children as well as parents and leaders/teachers. As the school materials were initially created for A Rocha Netherlands, they link in with national primary school curriculums and follow the wild adventures of four 11-year olds (Science Geek Christy and her Eco-Logbook – A Rocha International 

On the website, you’ll also find Extra Resources with crafts, trails, quizzes, recipes and a book club manual. The project supports A Rocha and Climate Stewards, and was funded by Scientists in Congregations with the aim of offering free materials to churches, schools and families using story and adventure as starting points. 

www.wildandwonderful.uk