Career Opportunity /  19 January 2023


Rainforest Foundation UK is looking for a developer who wants to put their skills to use in the fight against climate change and social injustice. 

Deadline: 19 January 2023 - the deadline has passed.
London/Hybrid - United Kingdom

Rainforest Foundation UK

Founded in 1989, the mission of the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) is to support
indigenous peoples and traditional populations of the world's rainforest to:

  • Secure and control the natural resources necessary for their long-term wellbeing and
    managing these resources in ways that do not harm their environment, violate their
    culture or compromise their future.
  • Develop means to protect their individual and collective rights and to obtain, shape
    and control basic services from the state.

Our approach differs from that of other organisations in that we are committed to both human
rights and environmental protection. We firmly believe that the best way to protect the
rainforest is through empowering indigenous peoples and local communities to defend their
ancestral lands. We promote the establishment of community rights to rainforests, tackling
the root problems causing deforestation, and paving the way for local people to benefit fairly
from the use and protection of forest resources.

RFUK is recognised as a leading force in the protection of tropical forests and their
inhabitants, particularly in the Congo Basin region of Africa. As well as delivering high quality
on-the-ground practical projects, often in difficult conditions, the organisation is known for its
strong policy and advocacy work in promoting forest peoples’ rights.

Together, with our sister organisations Rainforest Foundation US and Rainforest Foundation
Norway and our global network of indigenous organisations and other frontline defenders, we
have supported the protection of more than 84 million hectares of tropical rainforest - an area
roughly the size of Scandinavia.

Community-based Real-time Monitoring

Community-based forest monitoring is one of RFUK’s leading programmes and aims to unlock
the potential of forest guardians to protect their forests, connecting them with law enforcement
agencies to improve detection and enforcement of illegal logging on their lands. At the heart of
this is ForestLink, a breakthrough system that enables communities to transmit highly accurate
and low-cost alerts of illegal forest activities in real-time, even from remote areas with no

The system, launched in 2014, has been deployed in eight countries (DR Congo, Republic of
Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Peru) where hundreds of community
monitors have generated thousands of illegal deforestation alerts to enhance detection and
enforcement of illegal forest destruction. This has led to reduced illegal logging and mining in
the target areas, seizures of illegal timber and equipment, landmark court cases, a better deal
for communities from timber companies and enhanced territorial protection.

The ForestLink system comprises four main elements:

  • Collectaur – a native android mobile application that allows communities to collect
    geo-referenced information on illegalities and send them to a central database in real
  • Monitaur – the online platform where community generated data is stored and
    analysed; the platform has been developed using NodeJS and is connected to
    CouchDB – a NoSQL database – and is hosted on AWS;
  • Verificator – a native android mobile application that is used to verify collected
  • Community hub – the system that allows communities to transmit alerts via satellite.

The role sits within Programmes, the main team responsible for the implementation of our
projects in tropical forest regions. The full-stack developer will play a central role implementing
the strategy for the next phase of growth and development of the system, leading on the
technical developments foreseen for ForestLink, maintaining the system and supporting local
partners so they can use the tool, as well as constantly improving the system based on their

The post-holder will work under the supervision of the Senior GIS and Database Coordinator
who will lead on data structure and management and making data available in a way that can
support campaigning, advocacy and media engagement. They will also work in close
collaboration with the Senior RTM Project Coordinator who is in charge of project
implementation and the strategic direction of the work. The role will include the following

Maintaining and Developing the Monitoring System

  • Lead the development of a new ForestLink platform, in close coordination with the RTM
    Project Coordinator and the GIS and Database Coordinator;
  • Maintain and constantly improve all aspects of the ForestLink system (Collectaur,
    Monitaur, Verificator, Community Hub), including new features such as a two-way
    communication system and improving offline capabilities, including by responding to ad
    hoc requests from partners and reports of glitches;
  • Provide technical support and training to partners regarding the administration of the
  • Oversee the data contained in all country platforms; analysing usage trends; identifying
    potential mistakes in data entry and ensuring the database fulfils partners’ needs.
  • Manage all ForestLink recurring costs and subscriptions and coordinate with relevant
    members of the Programmes Team to ensure these are paid from appropriate budgets;
    maintaining a centralised control of all expenditure;
  • Develop a new text messaging functionality for the monitoring system to further
    breakdown access barriers, following a pre-established development plan.
  • Setup adequate security measures to protect the RTM system and ensure software is
    kept up-to-date and develop new protocols if required;
  • Improve overall user experience of the system by taking into account user’s feedback in
    the (re)design or (re)development of existing or new functionalities;
  • Under the leadership of the GIS and Database Coordinator, contribute to the development
    of the ForestLink Alerts Map, particularly by ensuring that the monitoring system feeds
    information into the database in appropriate formats and supporting the compilation of
    data and analytics to support campaign and advocacy;
  • Documenting all technical developments and support in the development of training
    documents, user manuals and similar outputs;
  • Providing support and training to RFUK staff and local partners responsible for deploying
    the system in different countries.


  • Remain abreast of most recent technological developments relevant to the Monitoring
    work and participating in conferences and forums as appropriate;
  • Maintain good understanding of the general social, political and environmental landscape
    in our focus countries;
  • Contributing to the development of reports, briefings, leaflets and other media to inform
    RFUK target groups;
  • Ensure good coordination with other members of the Programmes Team and ensure
    regular communication and information sharing in this respect;
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the Organisational strategy;
  • Where relevant, represent the organisation in relevant local, national and international
    fora, on relevant policy issues;
  • Where possible, contribute to RFUK’s MappingForRights community mapping and land
    use planning work, under the leadership of the GIS and Database Coordinator;
  • Perform other tasks as may from time to time be requested by the Head of Programmes
    and Executive Director.
Person specification

This role would suit a candidate with a strong software development skills and a personal
commitment to social and environmental justice. The ideal candidate be a self-starter who is able to operate effectively across different environments/teams and with a range of different stakeholders from the project team in London to remote forest communities, to international institutions.

Salary: £37,685

Contract type: Full-time (fixed term)

Application: Please send applications to [email protected] and include the job title in the email heading. Candidates that have made it to the interview stage will be informed by 5 February 2023.

Please see here for further details on the role.