The Board of Directors in the forefront of Surfrider Europe's positioning

08/10/19

Inside #6 Jacques Beall is one of the members of the Board of Directors of Surfrider Europe. These women and men work on a daily basis to define the association's positions. He shares with us his adventure at Surfrider Europe since its inception.


What is your role in Surfrider Europe?

I have been the Vice-President of Surfrider Foundation Europe since 2013. Before that, I appointed to the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (EESC) in Paris in 2010. In EESC, I contributed two opinions (one on oil platforms in 2012 and one on maritime transport at EU level in 2017) which were then used to relay our positions to national and European institutions. Today I work in close coordination with the advocacy team and I am also involved with several institutions outside the EESC: National Ecological Transition Centre, Ministries, in particular Environment (MTES), Directorate of Maritime Affairs, Parliament and Senate, European ESC, European Commission. My role with Surfrider serves as the interface between the Board and the staff and I actively represent the association's positions in different areas. I also contributed to defining Board structure, notably within the working groups of governance and the environment. For many years I have been in charge of the Board's "support" function, meaning that I manage of all the association's administrative documents such as the minutes of the General Assembly, Administrative Councils and the statutes.

Why did you decide to become involved with Surfrider Foundation Europe?

Since my childhood I have been passionate about the ocean and waves and attracted to surfing and bodysurfing. I became aware of the environmental issues facing the ocean at a very early age: in the 60s and 70s it was common to have tar on your feet when you came back from the beach, then later it was the arrival of waste that was a concern, but the public authorities only cared about tourism. I joined the association from its inception in 1991and I have renewed my support every year. In 1996 I returned to the Basque Country and so I naturally got closer to the Board of Directors, of which I have been a member since 1997. I was Secretary General until 2013 when I took on my current role as Vice President. 


What were your highlights, important memories?

The success of our campaigns against Oil Spills in the 1990s, which were launched at a meeting after media coverage of the Blue Spills; the Adour oars in those years; a demonstration in La Rochelle against the sinking and oil spill of the Erika in 1999 between two major storms; the shift in the budgetary policy of the Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne cluster in favour of sanitation in 1999-2000, thanks to our field and advocacy actions;, the pride of having been on this Board and trust for the Management and staff to continue to move forward; the presence of Surfrider at the 2013 environmental conference, and its appointment to the National Centre for Ecological Transition as one of the eight representative national associations; the presentation of the Maritime Transport opinion to the EESC and the unanimous vote that followed; the effectiveness of our advocacy with the European Commission, particularly on plastics; the continued pleasure of being part of this adventure.


Do you have a message for those who would like to get involved with Surfrider in a similar role?

It is an exciting job that requires a lot of passion and perseverance, because we are moving forward step by step, but the results are there! Passion, commitment, respect... the values of the surfer in fact! 

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our values

PASSION

The passion for the oceans, the coastline and the pleasures animate everyone who supports Surfrider and guides the organization's action.

SHARING

Surfrider is rooted in the value of sharing and participation through inclusion and diversity.

RESPECT

Surfrider seeks a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.