Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Stupid? [really?]

When I arrived in Cambridge, UK three days ago for a Small Working Group of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), I wondered whether I'd see Patrick Ramage, the Global Whale Programme Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

I like Patrick. He's a former Director of GLOBE International and I've always thought that he joined animal welfare because he's a political animal himself.

So, I sent him an email, and the following automatic answer was bounced back at me: Thanks for your message. I am in the UK this week working to keep member governments of the International Whaling Commission from doing something really stupid.

Really stupid? When I ran into Patrick at the University Arms Hotel where the IWC meeting is taking place, I told him that I wondered whether he wasn't jumping too fast. However slim the chance to fix the IWC, it's still worth a try I think.

The IWC will be 60 years old next year, which is a good age for a heart transplant. There's nothing worst than business as usual when an organization does not manage to fulfill its mandate properly.

If the on-going attempt to fix the international whale conservation regime fails, I don't know if it will lead to the implosion of the IWC. Maybe, maybe not. But if it does, there's no doubt in my mind that there'll be a frentic blame game from all sides. A good enough reason to give the process a chance. So far.

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