BirdLife South Africa (BLSA), based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is one of the largest, most active, non-governmental conservation organisations in South Africa.

BLSA is the South African Partner of BirdLife International, which operates through partners in 113 countries and territories worldwide. The BirdLife Partnership is the leading and internationally- acclaimed authority on the status of birds, their habitats, and the issues affecting birds. BLSA has special links with the BirdLife partners in Africa, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in the UK.

BLSA is looking for a qualified and knowledgeable East Atlantic Flyway Initiative (EAFI) Project Manager to support the RSPBs with the implementation of its conservation and species monitoring projects along the East Atlantic Flyway in Africa. The ideal candidate would have a strong background in the natural sciences, display good administrative and leadership skills, be a team player, have the ability to work independently, be strategic and innovative, and be a passionate conservationist.

Each year many millions of shorebirds migrate from northern breeding grounds in Eurasia to wintering areas in the south in Africa. These birds rely on a chain of high quality coastal and inland sites to feed and rest. Many shorebird populations along this flyway are in serious decline. The BirdLife partnership has established the EAFI Task Force to oversee the monitoring of birds and sites, identify conservation priorities and increase capacity for conservation along the East Atlantic Flyway in Africa. The EAFI Project Manager will manage a project dedicated to support regional and global conservation initiatives aligned with the RSPB’s EAFI priorities.

The EAFI Project Manager will be required to maintain strong relationships with the BirdLife Africa Secretariat, BirdLife partners in Africa, and with the RSPB. The Project Manager will assist the RSPB with the delivery of the BirdLife EAFI strategy. The Project Manager will assist with the identification of threats to priority bird species and sites along the flyway, the delineation of Key Biodiversity Areas, design and implement projects, and fundraising for priority projects along the East Atlantic Flyway. The EAFI Project Manager will also be committed to BLSA’s vision and mission (available at https://www.birdlife.org.za/who-we-are/about/), and be willing to work collaboratively with other organisations, both regional and internationally, to further the bird conservation cause.


The primary responsibilities of the EAFI Project Manager will include, but not be limited to:

  • Developing a BLSA EAFI Project Strategy (with short-/immediate-, medium- and long-term objectives).
  • Supporting the RSPB with the implementation and monitoring of the BirdLife EAFI Strategy.
  • Developing, reviewing, implementing and ensuring successful execution of EAFI projects, strategies and priorities in Southern Africa.
  • Supporting the BLSA and RSPB in its objectives to prioritise key sites (KBAs) and countries along the East Atlantic Flyway, including species and site threat identification, site safeguarding (OECMs) and associated species research and monitoring.
  • Unlocking and catalysing interest in KBAs in Africa, and subsequent identification, delineation, protection and monitoring of these sites.
  • Represent Southern African countries on the BirdLife EAFI Task Force
  • Assisting the EAFI Task Force with fundraising for the implementation of priority EAFI projects.
  • Nurturing key relationships with existing donors.
  • Aside from the primary EAFI related responsibilities, also work with the Regional Programme Manager towards establishing key conservation projects in southern Africa, including projects in Transfrontier Conservation Areas.
  • Liaising with and maintaining key partnerships with the RSPB, the BirdLife Africa Secretariat, relevant African government departments, non-government organisations, academic institutions and other strategic role players.
  • Working collaboratively across BLSA’s conservation programmes.


Inherent requirements for the position are:

  • MSc in natural sciences.
  • Managerial experience in a similar environment, with proven experience in people management, financial administration, and all other related duties and responsibilities.
  • Proven ability to collaborate with key stakeholders, donors, funders and government officials.
  • Knowledge of African countries’ environmental legislation and relevant international multi-lateral environmental agreements.
  • Knowledge of key IUCN knowledge products about protected and conserved areas, and Key Biodiversity Areas.
  • Proven ability and experience in the design, implementation, co-ordination and management of complex conservation projects, cutting across science and implementation.
  • A proven track record in successful fundraising, identifying donor prospects, donor cultivation and grant writing.
  • Code 8 driver’s licence.


  • Extensive knowledge of Africa’s birds and the main threats to these species and their habitats.
  • Proven scientific and analytical skills.
  • Proven knowledge about protected areas, particularly privately protected areas, and conservation areas.
  • GIS proficiency.
  • Ability to develop policy briefs and position papers.
  • Track record of working collaboratively with diverse groups.
  • Diplomacy and conflict resolution skills.
  • Superior communication skills with proficiency in English (written, spoken and graphical means).
  • Proficiency in French and/or Portuguese.
  • Ability to multi-task, problem solve, prioritise and delegate effectively.
  • Scientific publication record.
  • Skilful use of the Microsoft Office suite.
  • Willingness to travel both locally and internationally.


The successful candidate will report to BLSA’s Regional Programme Manager.

The position is based at BLSA’s Head office (Isdell House, 17 Hume Road, Dunkeld West) in Johannesburg.

The nature of the position requires the incumbent to sometimes work afterhours and over weekends and, at times, may involve extensive travel.


Salary: BLSA offers a salary which is commensurate with the position and responsibilities. The salary information is available on request. For any further enquiries, please feel free to contact 011 789 1122.

Fringe benefits: BLSA provides comprehensive group life insurance.


Interview: Successful applicants will be required to attend interviews in Johannesburg.


Applicants are to submit:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae with three contactable referees.
  • Copies of qualifications (please provide the SAQA accreditation in the case of foreignqualifications).
  • A list of publications and other achievements.
  • A copy of the applicant’s identity document.
  • A detailed motivation as to how the applicant sees his/her role in this post.

Please note:

  • All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. Communication will be limited to shortlisted candidates only. Should you not be contacted within six weeks of the closing date for applications, you may assume that your application was unsuccessful.
  • BLSA reserves the right not to make an appointment.
  • BLSA subscribes to and applies the principles prescribed by the Employment Equity Act.
  • Preference will be given to candidates from designated groups, in accordance with the principles of the aforementioned act and the employee profile of the specific programme.

Assumption of duties: As soon as possible

Closing date: 6 March 2020

To apply please e-mail your CV and motivation to BLSA’s HR Manager Dr Isabel Human at [email protected] with the subject title EAFI PROJECT MANAGER.

For further information, contact Daniel Marnewick, Regional Programme Manager, at [email protected]