David Levy – Every organisation needs an annual review – Aug 15

Marinet has a great website fed by our members. It is linked into the issues arising from climate change, marine degradation, and the failure of nations to provide food security for its peoples.
 
Nations need to provide food security by husbanding fish stocks and species in their territorial waters, and on the open seas and oceans.
 
Two of your Directors provide Blogs for your interaction. I know they are read, but the hope we had of a Discussion Forum has not really been achieved. I am not sure how to move forward on this level. I had hoped that Facebook and Twitter would step up, but not to date.
 
What is of further concern is the inability to access the depth of engagement of other environmental organisations.
 
In order to achieve the objective of working together with other NGOs we have tried to meet with them and to interact with them on specific goals we identify with, in forums which they themselves propose. We have identified that the only real thing governments and their agencies listen to is a legal threat backed-up by action, and we wanted to have our say on this.
 
However what we have found is that those engaged in this forum process cannot agree amongst themselves and, as a consequence, the forum process has stalled. One of these organisations is advanced in bringing a legal case forward, but most of the organisations have settled for a place at the government table where they have been given the nod that change will happen. Government have also promised change to these organisations before and let them down, so what have they learnt?
 
Apparently not enough to frighten them away from the “government table” strategy.
 
What is also clear is that trust between environmental organisations themselves is non-existent, despite the so-called “lowest denominator” letters sent to government and umbrella groups. The aspiration and the achievements of current day NGOs is well below what is needed to address the decline in our marine ecosystem.
 
Marinet has tried to set a real time standard, but has had little support from the rest of these organisations who should be gung-ho in backing us up.
 
So my on-going question to myself is — can we achieve meaningful partnerships on issues we have identified?
 
I have to answer that question by saying : it is unlikely, in the current climate.
 
NGOs have become like Blue Peter : well-intentioned, but applying sticky-back plastic solutions to serious issues. This approach by these organisation is, in my opinion, designed to do the following :-
 
Firstly, to simply to engage with the public on the surface level only.

Secondly, to engage with the public simply to gain more funding for themselves.
 
This is a real time problem for us all. How to engage the public to get their support, both functionally and financially?
 

The latter (finance) has led most NGOs down the cul-de-sac of charitable status. Most were led there by necessity.
 

Marinet learnt the lessons from them. We are standing like a willow tree weighed down by the tasks we see, but rooted in our independence.
 

However the key problem, how to secure transformative change, remains unresolved.
 
David Levy


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