This week sees the launch of the Guernsey Nature Commission, an independent local charity which is looking for non-executive directors to join its board.
Two years in the making, the Commission will work with business, government, the third sector and the general public to enhance the Island’s natural environment and promote greater biodiversity. In particular, the Commission will:
- Provide a hub of collaboration between the States, the third sector, business and the public, facilitating a shared ‘voice for nature’
- Support the third sector in raising awareness across the community of the importance of our natural environment; how we might take care of it, how it helps our physical and mental wellbeing, and its role in building economic and climate change resilience
- Organise and promote citizen science to contribute to the monitoring of the health of our environment, supported by relevant surveys
- Act as a vehicle with which business can contribute to the health of the environment
Conceived by the Guernsey Community Foundation, the Commission will help to deliver the States’ Strategy for Nature, a multi-year plan with objectives that include: connecting the community with nature, helping to ensure the diversity and resilience of natural capital and assets, and sharing knowledge about nature.
As part of a special match-funding agreement, the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure has committed to the transfer of £300,000 to the Commission over three years in recognition of its significant contribution to the delivery of the Strategy for Nature.
The Guernsey Community Foundation, meanwhile, has contributed a further £150,000 over three years, while the Social Investment Fund has awarded a grant of £100,000 to be paid in two instalments over two years.
Presently, the Commission’s three directors – chair Fiona Bateson, Sir Richard Collas and Jim Roberts – are all Guernsey Community Foundation board members. With funding now secured for the next three years, the Commission can start recruiting additional directors, enabling the Foundation to take a step back. The expanded board will then recruit a Chief Executive and other members of staff.
Fiona said, “This is a very exciting time for the Island. The Commission will make a major contribution to Guernsey’s plans to promote biodiversity, harness the power of citizen science, and ensure that consideration for the natural environment informs decisions taken by government and business. We want to act as an enabler and a champion, building on the substantial contributions made by existing green charities and amplifying a collective Voice for Nature.”
Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said, “We are very excited to be able to launch the Nature Commission after working with the Guernsey Community Foundation over the last few years to bring it to fruition. This initial funding will help deliver the States of Guernsey’s Strategy for Nature in a more efficient way and aims to unlock significant investment in our natural environment.”
Speaking as chair of the Guernsey Community Foundation, Sir Richard Collas said, “We began work on the Nature Commission in late 2020, which gives an idea of the scale and ambition of this project. As a standalone charity that will work with government, business and charities – and of course the public – we think the Commission is uniquely positioned to channel a growing desire across the community to protect and enhance Guernsey’s precious natural environment.”
Jurat Stephen Jones OBE, Chair of the Social Investment Fund, said, “We are pleased to support this significant initiative which we believe will make a valuable contribution to improving Guernsey’s natural environment, creating a better understanding about its importance and how we can all play a part in protecting our island home.”
Fiona encouraged prospective directors to get in touch: “The next step is to build out the board and recruit a Chair who will, in time, take over from me. If you have some time to give and a passion for promoting Guernsey’s natural environment, we would like to hear from you.”
Potential candidates should contact Jim Roberts (email@example.com) for more details.