Ocean Giants Trust Project Selection Criteria

The majority of Ocean Giants Trust projects involve the funding of leading international scientists researching large, important but threatened, marine species or local conservation and education initiatives. When selecting projects, a number of specific criteria are used to ensure that the project falls within Ocean Giants Trust’s mission, as well as practical considerations, to ensure that the project is likely to succeed in its aims, and is sustainable in the longer term.

Research Projects:

  • have clear objectives dedicated to conservation of large marine species;
  • will provide breakthrough information that can be of real practical benefit to conservation groups and government bodies;
  • will successfully conclude the work it sets out to undertake; and
  • will be undertaken by world leading scientists with demonstrated experience in their field.

Conservation Projects:

  • have clear objectives dedicated to conservation of marine areas associated with large marine species hotspots;
  • are undertaken by well respected local NGOs with a demonstrated track-record in both performance and governance;
  • have all necessary regulatory approvals in place;
  • will successfully conclude the work it sets out to undertake; and
  • have feasible plans for sustainability and self-funding in the long term.

Education Projects:

  • have clear, quantifiable objectives detailing the type of education to be delivered, the desired audience and the effect on the population;
  • are undertaken by well respected local NGOs with a demonstrated track-record in both performance and governance;
  • have all necessary regulatory approvals in place;
  • will successfully conclude the work it sets out to undertake; and
  • have feasible plans for sustainability and self-funding in the long term.

Likelihood of Success and Sustainability

It is always essential that Ocean Giants Trust undertakes projects in partnership with international scientists or local organisations, with similar objectives to the Trust, and with the skills and capacity to manage the project. Commitment to the partnership is given through a non-legally binding agreement (a Memorandum of Understanding) that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both partners.

The aim of conservation and education projects supported by Ocean Giants Trust is that the local organisation successfully conclude project objectives. However the ideal outcome would be that the initiative continue beyond the project phase, independently of Ocean Giants Trust. Project objectives submitted to Ocean Giants Trust must therefore consider opportunities for sustainability for the long-term future.

Absence of adequate funding from other sources

As a small organisation, Ocean Giants Trust is conscious that donations from supporters are spent in the most valuable way possible. Something that the Trust is keen to avoid is the duplication of efforts or funding in a particular project area, when there are many worthy project sites worldwide that require support. As a result, Ocean Giants Trust will only support projects knowing that sufficient support to undertake the project is not available from other sources.

Location

The selection of a project is not restricted by its location, as long as all other criteria are met. However, Ocean Giants Trust would not normally consider projects within developed countries.

Future Potential

The publicity value of the project, and the potential for raising further funds to support similar research, conservation and education projects is also taken into consideration.

Ocean Giants Trust Policies

Ocean Giants Trust are dedicated to adhering to the following policies which guide our practices and procedures.

They are designed to demonstrate our commitment to professional and ethical standards of the highest order.

Ocean Giants Trust recognises that some of our activities (such as international air travel) have adverse effects on the environment, but we are committed to minimising our impacts as far as possible while continuing our work of preserving threatened marine species and their habitats.

Ocean Giants Trust’s vision is to save Ocean Giants from extinction. We work by developing partnerships with international scientists, with local individuals, communities and organisations to engage support and commitment among the people who live in project areas.

Ocean Giants Trust recognises that fulfilling vision inevitably has adverse effects on the environment, but we are committed to mitigating this effect as far as possible while continuing our work.

Ocean Giants Trust will:

  • identify the impacts of our operations on the environment and take all practical steps to reduce them;
  • make all staff aware of the environmental policy and engage the commitment of the staff in developing and implementing the policy; and
  • manage our activities to comply with relevant environmental legislation and regulations, and undertake regular reviews of the policy to assess and enhance its effectiveness.

Where possible and relevant we will seek to support local suppliers and businesses.  We will consider suppliers’ ethical and environmental policy in making purchasing decisions, and challenge practices which we consider to be unsustainable or unethical.

We will work to raise awareness, in the UK and elsewhere, of the need for conservation, to improve understanding and generate support through education, information and fundraising.  In particular, we will support and encourage our corporate supporters in developing and implementing their corporate social responsibility and environmental policies.

We will review this policy annually, or if our business activities change significantly.

Practical steps to implement the policy

We minimise our use of resources by our policy of ‘reduce, re-use and recycle’ by:

  • reducing waste and conserving resources (including energy, water, paper, etc);
  • re-using resources where possible (especially paper, packaging);
  • recycling: all staff participate in our in-house recycling scheme, and any waste which cannot be recycled will be disposed of responsibly;
  • where possible communications are electronic (e-mail, electronic conferencing by Skype, etc.);
  • business travel is restricted to essential meetings and events, and appointments are scheduled to reduce travel to a minimum;
  • where practical, public transport is always chosen; and
  • home working arrangements are encouraged.

We work with our supporters and partners to assist and advise them in developing their social responsibility policies and making their operations more sustainable.

This document sets out the policy and procedures of the Ocean Giants Trust (Ocean Giants Trust) against fraud, corruption, bribery and other forms of dishonesty, together with the steps that must be taken where any of these practices is suspected or discovered.

It applies to Trustees, volunteers and partner organisations. Anybody associated with the Ocean Giants Trust who commits bribery, fraud, theft, or any other dishonesty or who becomes aware of it and does not report it, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Statement of Intent

The Ocean Giants Trust will continually strive to ensure that all its financial and administrative processes are carried out and reported honestly, accurately, transparently and accountably and that all decisions are taken objectively and free of personal interest. We will not condone any behaviour that falls short of these principles.

All members of the organisation have a responsibility for putting these principles into practice and for reporting any breaches they discover.

Definitions

Fraud

A deliberate intent to acquire money or goods dishonestly through the falsification of records or documents. The deliberate changing of financial statements or other records by either a member of the public or someone who works for or is a volunteer for Ocean Giants Trust. The criminal act is the attempt to deceive and attempted fraud is therefore treated as seriously as accomplished fraud.

Theft

Dishonestly acquiring, suing or disposing of physical or intellectual property belonging to Ocean Giants Trust or to individual members of the organisation.

Misuse of equipment

Deliberately misusing materials or equipment belonging to Ocean Giants Trust.

Abuse of position

Exploiting a position of trust within the organisation.

Bribery

Offering, promising or giving someone a financial or other advantage to encourage them to perform their functions or activities improperly, including where it is known or believed that the acceptance of the advantage in itself constitutes improper performance. It also means asking for or agreeing to accept a bribe.

Facilitation payments

Small bribes paid to speed up a service are sometimes called facilitation payments. Some charities work in areas where such payments are the norm in the local culture, often where charitable need is extreme. Notwithstanding the small amounts usually involved, they are still bribery payments. Therefore, they are an unacceptable use of charity funds.

Culture

Ocean Giants Trust’s culture is intended to foster honesty and integrity, and is underpinned by our values. Trustees and volunteers are expected to lead by example in adhering to policies, procedures and practices. Equally, supporters, partners and external organisations (such as suppliers and contractors) are expected to act with integrity and without intent to commit fraud against the Trust in any dealings they may have with the Trust.

Responsibilities

In relation to the prevention of fraud, theft, misuse of equipment and abuse of position, specific responsibilities are as follows:

Trustees

The Trustees are responsible for establishing and maintaining a sound system of internal control that supports the achievement of the Trust’s policies, aims and objectives, whilst at the same time controlling the risks that the Trust faces. Managing fraud risk is seen in this context.

Volunteers

Every volunteer is responsible for:

  • acting with propriety in the use of the Trust’s resources and the handling and use of funds whether they are involved with cash, receipts, payments or dealing with suppliers;
  • being alert to the possibility that unusual events or transactions could be indicators of fraud;
  • reporting details immediately if they suspect that a fraud has been committed or see any suspicious acts or events; and
  • co-operating fully with whoever is conducting internal checks or reviews or fraud investigations.

Detection and Investigation

Whilst having regard to the requirements of the Data Protection legislation, the Trust actively participates in an exchange of information with external agencies on fraud, corruption and bribery. It is often the alertness of Trustees, staff or volunteers and the general public to the possibility of fraud and corruption that leads to detection of financial irregularity.

The Chair of the Board of Trustees must be notified immediately of all financial or accounting irregularities or suspected irregularities or of any circumstances which may suggest the possibility of irregularities including those affecting cash, stores, property, remuneration or allowances.

Reporting of suspected irregularities is essential as it initiates:

  • a proper investigation by experienced staff, and ensures the consistent treatment of information regarding fraud and corruption;
  • appointment of a designated officer, auditor or other adviser, by the Chair to conduct investigations;
  • the designated officer, auditor or other advisor will:
    • deal promptly with the matter;
    • record evidence received;
    • ensure the security and confidentiality of evidence;
    • work closely with senior managers of the Trust and other agencies, such as the Police and Courts to ensure that all issues are properly investigated and reported upon; and
    • ensure maximum recoveries are made on behalf of the Trust.

Review

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Please read these terms and conditions of content and copyright before using content and images from this, or other Ocean Giants Trust websites.

All photographs, information, materials and other content featured on this website are owned by the Ocean Giants Trust and/or its contributors.

Terms of use

Images

In most cases we are happy for others to use our images for non-profit use, but please contact Ocean Giants Trust first to discuss your intentions.

  • Images used should credit Ocean Giants Trust/the photographer (if known) and include a link to our website in the image caption or elsewhere near the image.
  • For images on the Ocean Giants Trust site where the copyright is credited to a specific person or organisation other than Ocean Giants Trust, you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. Contact Ocean Giants Trust with your request and we will pass it on to the copyright holder if we can.
  • If you would like to use one of our images you should save a copy on your own web server. Please do not link to images on the Ocean Giants Trust site – this uses our bandwidth and may end up costing us money.

Content

Content from our news feeds can be used on other websites as long as the content is credited to Ocean Giants Trust, and the page includes a link to the relevant Ocean Giants Trust web page. Other content may be reproduced as agreed. Please contact Ocean Giants Trust to discuss your intentions.

Ocean Giants Trust carries out an annual risk assessment of all its activities, and when appropriate this can be made available to funding bodies and partner organisations.

The Trustees have a duty to assess annually risks that may affect the Trust’s operations and take appropriate action. Inter alia