Financial Management

We currently have 6 members of the Association and we work closely with each other on virtually all aspects of our work.

Harry Jonas, LLM, is a lawyer and was co-founder and co-director of Natural Justice with Kabir Bavikatte. His life interest is in the impact of law, politics, and economics on the biosphere (i.e. how positive legal systems interact with natural laws and the laws of nature), and as a corollary, in exploring how local approaches to law and policy promote social and environmental integrity. After working for 4 years from South Africa, Harry established an office in Sabah, Malaysia, with Holly Jonas to deepen Natural Justice’s work in the Asia-Pacific region. He engages with the full spectrum of the organization’s thinking and activities and is currently an Ashoka Fellow.

Dr. Johanna von Braun started collaborating with Natural Justice soon after moving to South Africa in January 2009 for a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cape Town’s Intellectual Property Law and Policy Research Unit. With a wealth of experience in the field of trade policy and intellectual property rights, her work focuses above all on the opportunities and challenges of market-driven incentives that affect communities, ranging from ABS and biotrade to other forms of payment for ecosystem service schemes. Based in New York City, she coordinates Natural Justice’s engagement in Central and South America while also facilitating the organization’s engagement with a number of UN agencies and programs. Johanna holds a BA Hons in Development Studies from the University of Sussex, a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a PhD in Law from the University of London. She currently serves as a member of Natural Justice’s Coordinating Committee.

Holly Jonas (née Shrumm) has a background in zoology and anthropology and is currently taking an LLM in Public International Law. She joined Natural Justice in 2009 after working with Indigenous peoples, local communities and NGOs on development and environmental issues in the USA, Tajikistan, and South African Kalahari. She is based in Sabah, Malaysia, focusing on the organisation’s work in Asia-Pacific and more generally on community protocols, participatory methodologies for legal empowerment and strategic advocacy, and community stewardship and governance of territories and ecosystems. She is also serving on Natural Justice’s Coordinating Committee and as the International Policy Coordinator for the ICCA Consortium.

Gino Cocchiaro is a lawyer with a background on issues related to traditional knowledge, the commons, and community rights. He is based in Cape Town, South Africa, where he focuses on the African Regional Biocultural Community Protocols (BCP) and Biocultural Rights Initiatives. He previously worked as a barrister and solicitor in Australia before joining the International Development Law Organization. At IDLO, he coordinated its project on traditional knowledge protection, which focused on the international negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Inter-governmental Committee on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Cultural Expressions/Folklore.

Laureen Manuel is the Chief Financial Officer for Natural Justice. She has 25 years experience in financial administration and management, human resources management and organisational management. With an A+ certification in network administration and a keen interest in organisational development, she has designed and implemented financial management and workflow systems for newly-formed organisations. She also holds a law degree with advanced studies in labour and environmental law, and has wide-ranging experience in the drafting of contracts and in the formulation of financial and human resources policies. As a great proponent of life-long learning and multi-skilling, she has led career-pathing and succession planning development in various organisations, designed and facilitated many workshops and seminars in soft skills and personal development, and has acquired a qualification as a skills development facilitator, with additional qualifications in assessing and moderating skills development processes.

Lesle Jansen is a South African attorney (B Proc, University of the Western Cape) who focuses on indigenous peoples in international law. She is particularly interested in exploring how indigenous peoples and environmental law intersect and strengthen each other. She worked for the South African Human Rights Commission prior to seeking and completing a LLM in Indigenous Peoples in International Law at the University of Arizona. She then worked as a project lawyer for the Legal Assistance Centre in Namibia where she worked with the San community on land and human rights cases. She then completed a second LLM in Rule of Law for Development in Rome, Italy from Loyola University (Chicago) in 2013. She was also appointed as an expert member to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights’ special mechanism called the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa. At Natural Justice she is focused on supporting Southern Africa’s indigenous and local communities’ work to establish their biocultural rights through instruments such as biocultural community protocols. She currently serves on the Coordinating Committee.


Dr. Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte was a co-founder and co-director of Natural Justice and later a member of the Coordinating Committee. He was a Shuttleworth Fellow from 2011-2012. He has an LL.B (National Law School of India University, Bangalore), an LL.M in Law in Development (University of Warwick) and a PhD in Public Law (University of Cape Town). Over the years, Kabir has been actively involved in advocating for and writing about the rights of workers, sexual and religious minorities, farmers, livestock keepers, and Indigenous peoples. Within Natural Justice, Kabir has focused on supporting Indigenous peoples and traditional communities in ensuring that their concerns are fully represented in the development and implementation of national and international environmental law and policy, including through advising governments (most recently, South Africa, India and Bhutan) and inter-governmental organizations. Most recently, he served as the legal advisor to the African Group of Countries in the international negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity, specifically negotiations relating to Access and Benefit Sharing and within the Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions, and provided legal support to the National Biodiversity Authority of India in its implementation of the Biodiversity Act. Kabir currently has a post-doctoral fellowship at the United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies in Yokohama, Japan.

Steph Booker is an Australian lawyer who worked as an immigration lawyer from 2007 to 2011. She completed a Masters in Human Rights Law at Monash University, Melbourne, in 2011 and has a keen interest in the links between human rights and environmental law. She is also interested in dialogues between communities and companies and the impacts of extractive industries, business and major infrastructure projects on indigenous peoples and local communities.



Bio-cultural Community Protocols: A Community Approach to Ensuring the Integrity of Environmental Law and Policy (Natural Justice and UNEP, 2009)
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African Bio-cultural Community Protocol Initiative Inception Meeting: Working towards the Legal Recognition of Bio-cultural Community Protocols within National Policies (Natural Justice, 2011)
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Towards a People’s History of the Law: Biocultural Jurisprudence and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (Bavikatte and Robinson, 2011)
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Biocultural Community Protocols: A Toolkit for Community Facilitators (Natural Justice, 2012)
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Biocultural Community Protocols: Articulating Stewardship, Asserting Rights, Affirming Responsibilities
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Biodiversity and Culture: Exploring community protocols, rights and consent (IIED Participatory Learning and Action 65, 2012)
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Biocultural Community Protocols: Articulating and Asserting Stewardship (Moving Images & Natural Justice, 2012)
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Recognising Customary Rights (LPP, LPPS and Moving Images, 2009)
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Maldhari Biocultural Community Protocol Photo Story (Sahjeevan & Natural Justice, 2012)
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Latest Publication

Biocultural Community Protocols: A Toolkit for Community Facilitators
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Images from our work in Africa, Asia, and the Americas
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