Everybody seems to be talking about NGOs this week – last week government was shouting at them!
WWF is 50 this week.
The late, great, Sir Peter Scott who founded the Wildfowl Trust, now Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and had a lot to do with setting up the WWF – including designing its panda logo – would have been 102 this week.
Peter Marren thinks that there is a need for a new voice for nature in the UK and in an accompanying piece Mike McCarthy documents the grumblings of a few grumpy old environmentalists. My grumpy contribution wasn’t, I feel, quite as grumpy as that of Jonathon Porritt but you can make up your own mind,
In fact, my contribution was cut short, no complaints, as what I sent the Independent was as follows ” Nature conservation in England has lost some powerful voices since the coalition government came to power. Independent watch-dogs have been abolished and statutory agencies silenced and their budgets cut. The conservation NGOs are wildlife’s best hope but don’t always speak with one voice, and that makes it easier for government to ignore wildlife’s needs. If this were industry, you’d probably be looking at a few mergers and acquisitions to make stronger entities. In the NGO world, a more coherent approach to lobbying government on behalf of nature is certainly needed.“.
And I did point out that the joint statement by the RSPB, Plantlife, Buglife and Butterfly Conservation was an interesting and potentially important example of joint working before the newspapers began their craze of talking about NGOs.
I’d be surprised if we don’t see a few letters in the Independent over the next few days on this topic.
It’s important, it’s interesting and I’ll blog about it on Monday. But for now can you suggest what mergers, serious or amusing, you might like to see involving environmental NGOs?