Letter to members – 20th March 2021


20th March, 2021

Dear All,

The last twelve months have been a challenging time for all of us, both in our work and home environment. The arrival of COVID 19 on the world forced everyone to seek other ways of conducting and delivering our business and significant temporary changes to our personal life. This required a re-think of how we live and work can be managed; this saw the introduction of new ways to communicate with each other and how organisations and individuals can communicate by the use of online meetings instead of the traditional face to face; these new ways of working have proven to be successful and are likely to now form the norm within companies.

Our last AGM held online in December 2020 was well attended. The online platform called Zoom worked well and it was agreed that, going forward, regular monthly Zoom meetings would be held. All members were invited to attend with details of times and how to join by letter to members and notices published in our weekly newsletter.

Much has happened since then. A major outcome of the online meetings has been the formation of a “Way Forward” volunteer working group. This Volunteer Group includes virtually every member of the Executive Committee, several Members of ISCO Council, many Members and a few other interested individuals. Currently there are 37 members in the Volunteer Group and good progress is being made in developing ideas and a forward action programme for developing the organisation and growing its membership.

At the February 25th meeting Matthew Somerville thanked Members for their support during his three year tenure and welcomed me as ISCO’s new Secretary General. I look forward to meeting the challenges of the position and getting to know our members.

More recent developments include the creation of a shared communication platform for the Volunteer Group to exchange ideas and share work being done to fulfil our action programme. The new platform should become operational in the very near future.

We need to be able to restore face-to-face meetings soon, and ISCO recognises the importance of such events. We are therefore adopting a new strategy with the introduction of ISCO Ambassadors, who will be appointed to formally represent ISCO under the guardianship of the ISCO Secretariat.

ISCO Ambassadors can be appointed on either a temporary basis to undertake a specific activity task, for example supporting ISCO at an International event, or on a more permanent basis acting as liaison officer between ISCO and other Governmental and NGO groups. These roles will be instrumental in promoting the work of ISCO and in conjunction with the national ISCO Council Members to work to strengthen the membership within their areas.

ISCO recognises the importance of its membership, and like other similar organisations requires a strong membership to fully function and provide the platform for the promotion of ISCO’s aims to raise worldwide preparedness and co-operation in response to oil and chemical spills, to promote technical development and professional competency, and to provide a focus for making the knowledge and experience of spill control professionals available to IMO, UNEP, other international, regional and national organisations

As we move forwards with these new developments our ISCO Newsletter editor will do his best to keep you up-to-date with progress in the ISCO News section of our newsletter. I shall also write to you from time to time but please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if there any matters on which I may be able to assist.

With my best regards

Neil Marson, Secretary-General.


Our next Zoom Meeting will be on Thursday 25th March at 1500 EDT and 1900 GMT or Friday 26th March at 0600 AEDT (or the equivalent date and time in your own region).  Note: Around this time some regions may be changing to Daylight Saving Time, so please double check to make sure you have the correct time for your area – The meeting is being hosted in Detroit and the actual time of the meeting will be 1500 EDT.

Link for joining our Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89957845921  Meeting ID: 899 5784 5921

The meeting will last for approximately one hour and will be hosted by ISCO VP(Membership) Mary Ann Dalgleish.

The Agenda is not fixed but S-G Neil Marson will speak about the new Ambassadors Initiative. Other topics will include the new sharing platform for the “Way Forward” Volunteer Group and progress made since our February meeting.  

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