skip to Main Content

Sea Alarm’s first 20 years: Sharing knowledge, advocating preparedness

In its 20 year history Sea Alarm has been active across the globe, carrying out numerous activities to advance wildlife response preparedness with a large number of stakeholders.

From the early days onward, Sea Alarm has been working with industry, NGOs and governments toward advancing the quality of response planning and preparedness. These three stakeholder groups depend on each other when confronted with an incident – the incident binds them together. While Sea Alarm’s target has always been to bring wildlife responders together to discuss experiences of good practice and explore grounds for cooperation and joint response capability, it was clear from the start that governments and industry should be on board to make things work.

Our experiences with responding to wildlife incidents, such as the Prestige and Tricolor, in the early years of our existence, highlighted many elements of planning, preparedness and integrated response where structural improvements were needed. These insights provided direction to Sea Alarm’s mission to try to learn lessons from these incidents and to share these lessons learned internationally, with NGOs, industry and governments.

Sea Alarm’s method has always been one of dialogue, working with key actors to identify obstacles, and finding ways to unblock these obstacles. An important element in these conversations has been to share our experience, our knowledge and our insights, and subsequently to learn from our partners, and jointly find solutions for improvement. What we learned in one country, could be shared with stakeholders in another country. Things that worked in that other country could be shared with the next. In this way our insights have grown over time, while our messages have been modified accordingly.

We learned how to distinguish between generic values/concepts on the one hand, and on the other, the variability in the ways by which these values or concepts are perceived, depending on the cultural setting. And we learned that what is conceived as totally logical in one country or culture, is not always understood similarly by another. Therefore, developing preparedness for wildlife response cannot be simply laid out as a blueprint programme in the sense of “one size fits all”.

The interactive map below shows Sea Alarm’s 20 year history of projects around the world, hover over each point for more details.

You only can assist if you are interested in learning, and expertise is a very limited qualification. Having been in many places in the world, having worked with many parties in different countries, looking at a range of ecosystem and cultural settings, has made us humble about thinking there is only one single approach with universal value.

We learned as much from the participants in our courses, workshops and projects as they may have learned from us. Teaching others what we understand creates a starting point for learning together, and for a journey in search of an approach that might work well under the given circumstances, with people that are locally available and interested in taking on the job.

We have discovered that there is a lot of potential when NGOs, governments and industry find ways to cross their respective borders and get motivated to work together. We continue to see it as our mission to maximise that potential wherever we go and whatever projects we are involved in.

Back To Top