Standing Committee 20 -- The Photo Gallery
They look like the jury in a domestic bludgeoning case, but it's not as bad as that.
The Head Table: Delmar Blasco, Secretary General of the Convention; Louise Lakos, Hungary (SC Member for Eastern Europe) and chair of the Standing Committee; Sergey Tveritinov and Igor Movtchan, Russian Federation (Alternate for Eastern Europe).
|And here's the same gang, charting our course for the next 45 minutes until the coffee break. That's the Costa Rica COP7 poster behind them, and you too can have one if you'll take the trouble to write to the Bureau and ask for one.|
|Mike Smart (seated, left), the Bureau's departing Senior Policy Advisor,discusses late 15th century English religious poetry in the "fourteener" metric scheme with Bill Phillips, the incoming Deputy Secretary General, with Bureau staff member Stefan Niederberger awaiting the results if any. |
Abdoulaye N'Diaye of Senegal (SC member for Africa) and Paul Mafabi, Uganda (Alternate for Africa) contemplate the proceedings, whilst Clayton Rubec of Canada (Alternate for North America) contemplates the photographer.
Gerard Boere, the Netherlands (Permanent Observer State), shuffles papers whilst Senegal and Uganda watch out for the débris.
Meinrad Küttel of Switzerland (Permanent Observer State as host of the Bureau), who has recently replaced our own Aldo Antonietti after the latter's well-merited retirement.
Representing the Alternate for Asia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, are Borhan Riazi and Mohammad Reza Salamat, and Abdel Rahim Al-Wreikat batting for Jordan as an Observer State.
The Oceania Region, brilliantly represented by Samuel Antiko, Papua New Guinea, SC Member for the region, and Alison Shepherd of Australia, SC Member as Host of the most recent Conference of the Parties.
The delegation of the United States of America, Gilberto Cintron and Herbert Raffaele, with the Bureau's Regional Coordinator for the Neotropics, Montserrat Carbonell, nodding complacently behind. The USA is chair of the Subgroup on Finance and is the principal donor for the Wetlands for the Future programme.
Nadra Nathai-Gyan represents Trinidad and Tobago as an Observer State and, with her enthusiasm, has done more to promote the Convention's values in the Caribbean Region than a flight of conservation angels could have done.
Dave Pritchard of RSPB, representing partner organization BirdLife International, smiles competitively with Nadra Nathai-Gyan at the reception and wins, but not by much.
And here's the intrepid rapporteur, Dwight Peck of the Ramsar Bureau, cringing behind a row of coffee cups, in mortal dread of the next mumbler or squeaky microphone.
Mr John O'Sullivan, BirdLife International, raiding the promotional materials desk as if it were the hors-d'oeuvres tray.
Doug Hulyer (center), representing the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, is smiling in a forebearing manner at something stage-right that we can only guess at. Biksham Gujja and Cassandra Phillips of WWF International (left) don't really know that this is happening, because they are busy with policy matters, and Mihaly Végh of Hungary, representing Ramsar's subsidiary scientific body, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), disapproves, steadfastly.
Reception (party time)
Louise Lakos, Hungary (Member for Eastern Europe and Chair of the Standing Committee), explains essential elements of picturesque and practical automobile design to Tim Jones of the Ramsar Bureau and Rakovski Lashev, Observer representing Bulgaria, who tops 2.5 meters --
And then laughs off several attempts by Rebecca D'Cruz, the Bureau's outstanding Regional Coordinator for Asia, to resurrect the virtues of the Edsel for a new generation that might be ready for it.
Here, in this collector's item photo, is the photographer herself, Valerie Pearson Higgins of the Ramsar Bureau's Communications Unit, either on a fast delay or taken by a well-meaning passerby. And hovering all about her are a battalion of hispanophones, beginning at the left: Marco Solano and Manfred Peters of Costa Rica, SC Members as hosts of the next COP, then Roberto Cal Johnston of Uruguay, Member for the Neotropical Region and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee; then Ms Higgins of course; then Gilberto Cintron of the US Fish and Wildlife Service of the USA, and Guillermo Lingua representing Argentina, attending as an Observer State. This is the Web Editor's favorite picture in this collection.
Dr Michael Moser, director of Wetlands International, is distinctly skeptical about the Netherlands' Gerard Boere's enthusiasm for the coffee.
Clearly, Scott Frazier, the Ramsar/Wetland Sites Officer at Wetlands International in the Netherlands, Keeper of the Sacred Ramsar Database, knows something we don't know. Perhaps it will show up in his next Overview of the Convention.
Sang Hoon Kim and Tae Yoon Park represent the Republic of South Korea, one of the Convention's most recent Contracting Parties, and find that hilarious.
The MedWet Initiative is in his hands! This is Thymio Papayannis, the Ramsar Convention's MedWet Coordinator, caught in a reflective moment.
The Grand Mike Smart Commemorative Dinner in the Cafeteria!
18 more pix (click on this one)