Forest Governance campaigner (maternity cover)

  • Type: Forest Governance campaigner
  • Salary: £34,530 to £39,890
  • Location: UK
  • Benefits: Contribution to travel costs from home to office.


Fern is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) created in 1995. Our mission is to achieve greater environmental and social justice, focusing on forests and forest peoples’ rights in European policies and practices. We understand that environmental conflicts are rooted in social inequalities and the unequal distribution of power. As such, our campaigns have a strong emphasis on supporting and enhancing the rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples. We co-ordinate several NGO networks and work co-operatively to achieve change. We believe that strong coalitions are more likely to achieve lasting change and that presenting ways forward is often more effective than highlighting problems. We have no director and strive to make decisions by consensus.

Details of our current campaign areas can be found here

We currently have 18 staff working from two offices, in Brussels (Belgium) and Moreton in Marsh (UK). We are looking for a Forest Governance campaigner who will support partners in Ghana and Liberia and manage large grants.

The candidate will be based in the UK and the position will be 12 months, ideally starting in January 2021.

A. Key areas of responsibility: 

1. Campaign tasks: 

  • Acting as a support person for partner organisations in Ghana and Liberia in the implementation of their work in-country, including a possible trip to Ghana & Liberia if/when international travel becomes safe.
  • Managing grants for Fern’s work on forest governance, including writing quarterly narrative reports (and coordinating inputs from colleagues), and being the liaison between the donor, fellow Fern campaigners and partners.
  • Facilitating and/or participating in relevant NGO networks and coalitions (e.g. UK NGO coalition; Liberia NGO coalition).
  • Facilitating and organising information flows between partners and the EU and UK Government and leading on UK campaigning where relevant.
  • Guiding and/or carrying out research and presenting results to relevant target groups.
  • Participating in and organising advocacy meetings/seminars with the UK government and European Commission officials.
  • Networking with people in the UK Government and relevant EU Institutions.
  • Writing regular campaign updates and articles for, among others, Fern’s EU Forest Watch (10 issues per year) and Forest Governance newsletters.

2. General Fern tasks: 

  • Staying informed at a general level on the various campaigns Fern is involved in;
  • Fundraising for the successful continuation of Fern campaigns related to improving forest governance;
  • Carrying out general managerial and administrative tasks, shared between all staff;
  • Fulfilling Fern’s policies on reporting on meetings, producing work plans etc;
  • Managing the campaign budget in close co-operation with Fern’s finance team;
  • Maintaining a proper filing system on issues relevant to the position;
  • Ensuring Fern’s reputation as a professional organisation is maintained.

B. Other requirements: 

  • Travel. As Fern is an international organisation with offices in two countries and activities in numerous countries, travel (to Brussels, and possibly once to West Africa) will sometimes be necessary to attend crucial meetings.
  • Flexibility. Fern is a campaigning organisation, and some flexibility will be required in working hours, for example in the case of preparing urgent funding proposals, budgets, etc.

C. Person specification: 

We are looking for a strong, well-organised professional; someone who is passionate about both social and environmental justice; a good team worker and born networker who is able to communicate well, both orally and in writing, across different cultural backgrounds; who can show initiative and  can work quickly and accurately; and who is reliable, as they will be responsible for managing Fern’s largest grant.


  • At least two years’ experience in developing, implementing and evaluating campaign plans;
  • An understanding of aid and climate policies and their impact on tropical developing countries.
  • An appreciation of power imbalances and social justice, especially issues of diversity, inclusion and equity within the forest sector;
  • Experience of grant management;
  • Experience in working with NGOs;
  • Very good oral and written English;
  • Excellent organisational and computer skills;
  • Ability to work individually and within a team;
  • Ability to prioritise and manage a high workload;
  • Willingness to travel frequently within the UK, EU and abroad and notably between Fern’s offices;
  • Commitment to our organisational values and to cultivating anti-oppressive practice internally and through our work with partners.


  • Experience in working with NGOs in West Africa;
  • Experience of facilitating NGO networks, developing joint (NGO) positions and facilitating meetings involving a broad range of views, interest groups and cultural approaches;
  • Familiarity with fundraising procedures and reporting requirements of funders, notably FCDO and the EU;
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationship both with partner organisations at grassroots level, as well as with Government, Commission officials and MEPs;
  • A good understanding of the functioning of the UK government and EU institutions;
  • Experience in advocacy work, preferably at UK and EU levels.

Indicative salary: 

  • £34,530 to £39,890, (dependent on experience), plus a contribution to travel costs from home to office.

D. How to apply: 

Applications should be made in English and comprise:

  •  a short covering letter explaining why you are interested in this job, including what attracts you to Fern and what you could bring to Fern
  • a CV detailing all relevant work experience.
  • a one-page response to either one of these prompts:

We acknowledge that the environmental sector lacks awareness of intersectionality in its approach to social change. As an organisation, especially as one which works with partners around the world, we are on a continuing journey to understand these issues and power dynamics better. We encourage applications from people whose identities are underrepresented in the sector and welcome conversations about how to make our recruitment process accessible.

Applications without a properly prepared covering letter and response to the task, will not be considered. Only selected candidates will be contacted.

Deadline for applications: 28 October 2020

Interviews will take place via videoconference the week of 2 November

Please send applications to:

If you'd like to discuss the job, contact Alexandra Benjamin: 

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