63 Hout Street, Mercantile Building
Cape Town 8000
South Africa

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Gino Cocchiaro

Added on: Feb 20, 2012

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2018

Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment is a non-profit organization, registered in South Africa since 2007.

Our vision is the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity through the self-determination of Indigenous peoples and local communities.

Our mission is to facilitate the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities in the development and implementation of laws and policies that relate to the conservation and customary uses of biodiversity and the protection of associated cultural heritage.

Natural Justice work at the local, national, regional, and international levels with a wide range of partners. We strive to ensure that community rights and responsibilities are represented and respected at the broader scales and that gains made in international fora are fully upheld at lower levels.


Allan Basajjasubi

I am an attorney practising in South Africa. I have a particular interest in achieving socio economic justice as well environmental justice for communities at grass roots level. I have a Masters specialising in Human Rights from the University of Cape Town

South Africa

Angela Mutsotso

Angela is young lawyer passionate about environmental conservation and appreciative of the importance of citizen involvement and participatory rights. In line with her passion for citizen participation, she joined the Information Center for the Extractives Industry in Kenya (ICES) currently Extractives Baraza in 2015. At ICES she was in charge of information dissemination on the platform. At Natural Justice Angela is a Fellow within the African Fellowship Program (March 2017). She works with lawyers and community paralegals to solve environmental problems and build the capacity of communities to advocate for their rights.


Barbara Lassen

I work for the NGO Natural Justice, as director of the Traditional Knowledge and Benefit Sharing Programme, and the director of the francophone Africa Hub. I am a German national and live in Cotonou, Benin. My work focuses on community rights related to Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and governance of protected areas, but increasingly also extractive industries. Before joining Natural Justice, I worked for GIZ at the ABS Capacity Development Initiative, and before that for the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP). I have a Masters degree in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a Degree in Landscape Ecology from the University of Münster (Germany).


Cicilia Githaiga

Cicilia Githaiga: Programme Manager Traditional Knowledge, Benefits Sharing and, Conservation and Customary Use at Natural Justice. Cicilia is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with NJ charged with the responsibility of providing guidance on matters relating to traditional knowledge, benefits sharing, conservation and customary use. She has vast experience of matters of relating to environment and environmental justice having worked as in-house Counsel at the National Environment Management Authority for 8 years where she was also litigation counsel. Before this she was in active private practice for 5 years. She has offered technical and legal advice on environmental matters with a particular bias for matters under the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol particularly on matters involving Access and Benefits Sharing while in her capacity as in house counsel. She has among other tasks litigated on matters environment while in her former position and given numerous advisory opinions on policies and legislation that touched on different aspects of her work. Cicilia Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and is currently undertaking a Master of Arts Degree in Environmental Policy at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy, University of Nairobi. She was also a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Climate Protection Fellowship (2016/17) which she undertook at her host Institution in Germany, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies. She is passionate about various aspects national and international Policy and Legal Frameworks relating to environment matters particularly those under the Convention on Biological Diversity and its protocols particularly the Nagoya Protocol and matters Access and Benefits Sharing. She is also interested in Climate Change and Sustainable Development and how these areas impact issues surrounding indigenous people, local communities and conservation areas. She is also interested in engaging in public interest litigation in all these matters which she hopes will help shape future policy and legal frameworks.


Dalle Abraham

Works for Natural Justice in Kenya


Fatima Diallo

I’m programm manager for Extractive and infrastructures at Natural Justice. Before joining Natural justice I worked as a senior researcher in field on indigenous values, costumary law and human rights. I’m a constitutional lawyer and a legal anthropologist by training and have a genuine interest for all methods and means of empowering grassroot Communities. I have worked in francophone Africa and Southern Africa. I’m look forward to learn about experiences from other regions within the Namati family.


Gino Cocchiaro

Gino Cocchiaro is a lawyer with Natural Justice based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is Director of the organizations work in Kenya and Head of the Extractives and Infrastructure Program, which is active in Kenya and Zimbabwe.


Justus Tsofa

I am a conservation biology graduate, working with Natural Justice as a Community Enviromental Legal Officer (CELO) in the infrustructure and extractive program. I have been working with local communities along the Kenyan coast affected by projects such as the sea walls, salt industry and cement manufacturing companies. mainly working towards finding remedies to alleviate the impacts of these problems through the relevant legal and institutional frameworks. By joining this network for a platform to network and exchange ideas on how to approach some of these issues, learn from other paralegals on the various methodologies applied in their EJ cases especially in obtaining remedies, this will go long way in improving my approach in solving these critical EJ cases with my community partners.


Lorraine Chiponda

Environmental Researcher and Community Rights Expert


Lorraine Chiponda

I work with mining communities in Zimbabwe to remedy environmental injustice concerns where communities disproportionately suffer from the impacts of extractive projects. I am trying to build up a team of grass-roots rights defenders that are able to use the law to hold institutions and project proponents accountable. I have also carried out studies on various aspects of environmental law including EIA laws.


Rashid Karayu Kalicha

I am a Kenyan environmental activist based in Mandarin county in Kenya.



I work as a Programme Officer Madagascar at Natural Justice (Lawyers for environment and communities). My main fields of work are : support local communities to participate effectively in Access and Benefit Sharing mechanism, give inputs to the development and implementation of farmers right, participate in the development of traditional knowledge protection system, give inputs to community and indigenous area-based conservation and support existing initiative on protection of Environmental and Human Rights defenders.



My name is Rose Jeptoo Birgen though most people refer to me as ‘Jep’. I come from Uasin Gishu County, Kenya, also called the home of long distance runners in the world (my emphasis). It is also a place where I have basically spent three quarters of my life. I have three siblings- one sister and two bothers- and four nephews. My academic background is law. I enjoy hiking and in my free time, you will probably find me playing cards, pool, hanging out with my nephews - Nuri and Telo - or trying out a recipe. I currently work as a researcher with Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment. My work mostly entails analysing laws and policies in the Extractives, Infrastructure and Industry Program in Kenya, analysing EIAs and assisting communities to draft complaints on violated license conditions. I am honoured to be part of an exciting team, doing exciting work with the aim of bringing positive change in the environmental sector. I hope people will understand that we only have one earth, that our social and economic aspects are interlinked with the environment, hence we have to hold our environment in high esteem. I am honoured to be part of an exciting team and I hope to learn about how different organisations are using this tool to achieve environmental justice.


Saidi Saidi

I am passionate about Environment and the reason behind the affection was cruelty of mankind against mother nature. Currently working as Senior Environment Legal Officer at Natural Justice Kenya stationed in Lamu. My roles are:-Train communities on Law/letter writing/evidence collection/monitoring, conduct research and comment on EIA/policy/law.


Shalom Ndiku

Environmental and Community Rights Lawyer - Kenya


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