David Levy – Are environmental organisations working co-operatively? – Apr 15

Recently we sent John Stansfield to an NGO meeting, convened by the Pew Trust in Brussels, which had as its the brief a review and discussion of what forms of legal challenge marine NGOs are considering with regard to the EU’s failure to properly implement the reformed Common Fisheries Policy.

This first meeting was unable to narrow down to specifics, and the door on the possibilities of legal challenge remains open.

With limited resources, Marinet has to weigh up whether such meetings are worth the effort. In this instance we made the decision to meet with other marine and environmental law organisations because we are convinced that legal challenge provides our only clear agenda to influence Governmental policy.

It was therefore with some surprise to us that this week in the Guardian (24th April) it was revealed that Greenpeace, a participant at the Pew Trust meeting, has been given permission by the UK courts to challenge DEFRA over the allocation of CFP fishing quotas — a matter which, from our blogs, you will know we have had similar thoughts about.

So where was this revealed at the Pew Trust meeting?

It was not mentioned. This fact, and the possibility that other marine NGOs will be planning lone actions, leaves me with troubled thinking when it comes to joint work in the future.

The announcement of the legal challenge is excellent news. The manner in which it has been conceived is unsettling.

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