Congratulations to Peter Barham MBE, the Chair of the SUDG, for walking away with the first Bob Earll Award at the 2024 Coastal Futures Conference. Peter was recognised for his prolific contributions to ocean and coastal management during his career in environmental sustainability which spans over four decades. He is an outcome-focussed innovator, promoting different ways of working that help to build trust and consensus around often challenging issues by focussing on the importance of win-win outcomes.
Peter is a true champion of bringing people together to achieve a common goal, he has a unique ability to lift others up, by both encouraging and supporting colleagues, and making sure that everyone feels empowered to contribute to discussions and share their thoughts and opinions.
Peter has notably facilitated industry contributions to the development of the Marine and Coastal Access Act, the establishment of the Marine Management Organisation, the development of the Marine Works Regulations and the UK Marine Policy Statement, and the wider process of establishing national marine plans. In recent years he joined the steering panel for the Benyon Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas, and has spearheaded and galvanised industry support for the development of marine net gain policy (MNG), chairing the OWEC funded task and finish group to identify strategic targets for MNG which have directly informed government MNG policy development.
Peter has helped to shift the mindset of the marine development sector, from a ‘them and us’ adversarial approach to embracing the fact that in many cases marine industry can play a central role in helping to enable sustainable solutions that deliver not only for the economy but also for the wider environment.