David Levy – What is it all about? Collecting logos, or standing up for what will deliver change? – Nov 15

Marinet has recently written to the CEOs of all the NGOs who are involved in marine matters to see whether they can see any way in which to foster collaborative work.

This comes from a strong urge, driven by our understanding of what that kind of working means. It’s grounded in another century where targets and goals were set, and those responsible did not jump ship when the going got tough. Think about Ban the Bomb and the decades of opposition by dedicated people.

Let me explain. In Marinet we see that for all the so-called reforms the basic need for change has only been delivered in words, and fails when it comes to real time action. Good news stories are over hyped, and NGOs seem happy with little victories whilst the war rumbles on without any significant opposition; more depressingly, the urgent need for change is unaddressed.

I have to say that I anticipated a muted response as so many of the NGOs are charities and can no longer be open in opposition to Government policy. So there is an educational element to what they do. This translates into advice, and not active opposition to negative policy. The urgency in our collective mission is not enough of a stimulus for the NGOs to change their current status, and they validate their existence in this educational role.

It also validates their salaries and bureaucratic logos. One must ask whether this current status equates to what the public think the NGO stands for or whether the public, like me, still think of NGOs in terms of the role they had in the past.

In the past NGOs did not sit around the table with government. They did not swallow the platitudes or double speak, and were not easily bought with bribes of research projects. Unfortunately NGOs and universities have fallen for this government initiative.

So what responses has Marinet received to our invitation?

It is well not to be specific in naming names because that is not the intention. All NGOs are houses of the conservationist. Within each organisation, some politicians will hold sway over others who are out of sync with the incline of the pendulum.

In Marinet we sponsor a swing towards actually opposing the degradation, and working with others who have a similar disposition in philosophy. So far, very few now appear to support the manner in which their organisations were founded.

That is a discussion worth review.

Meanwhile most NGOs have been content to gather logos to justify their educational work. I have to ask, is this enough?

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