Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Pew Environment Group - working hard for the good Cause!

Finally - an interview with Matt!

Matt Rand heads the the Shark conservation push of the Pew.
I've been observing the meteoric rise of the Global Shark Conservation project team of the Pew Environment Group ever since their spectacular success in Palau a little more than one year ago.
Ever since, I've been noticing their behind-the scenes influence in Guam, the CNMI, the Maldives and the Bahamas and more recently, the Marshalls, Honduras,Chile, the APIL and the IATTC - and I'm quite sure that I may have missed some locations and that other projects are in the works!
Which of course begs the question, what were those other Shark Institutes etc doing during all those previous years?

Are you surprised by some of the locations on that list?
Chances are that you may have fallen victim to the unabashed self promotion of some B-listers that may, or may not have played a supporting role in getting those legislations enacted. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of Palau where with the exception of Dermot who is totally legit and deserves praise for having gotten the ball rolling as early as 2001, there has been a ignominious veritable deluge of self professed visionaries, ghost writers, congratulators, prize awardors and outright moochers trying to claim a piece of the action and of the global accolades.
Unfortunately, much of it is attributable to the notorious modesty of the good people of the Pew project team, and to the fact that they appear to pursue a policy of always consulting the entirety of the local conservation community and of aligning themselves with prominent local players. Case in point: the Bahamas where Cristina started the conservation push and where Matt's team has chosen to work with the BNT and the local dive community, something I cannot but applaud for having created a powerful local lobby that cannot be accused of meddling from the outside – but it of course carries the risk of those orgs creating the impression that all the success is attributable to them alone.

With that in mind, I'm really glad to see this bit of soft self promotion.
I could be mistaken, but this may well the first time that Matt outlines the strategies and the many successes of the group he heads. I’m particularly thankful for their commitment to working globally to establish pragmatic, science-based policies that protect our oceans, something that is imperative when dealing with real problems in a real world.
This puts them in a league of a very few result- (as opposed to agenda-) driven NGOs and hopefully helps counteract the recent worrying upsurge of strident activist Facebook pages where an unholy alliance of truism-spouting desperate housewives and Shark whacks is very much threatening to dolphinize the global Shark conservation movement.
Just FINtastic - and yes, I’ll certainly leave it at that!

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you.
With you guys congratulating everybody else, I thought that it was bloody time that somebody returned the favor.

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