11th Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP)
CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Battle of the IOPs
Marsh Toads 63
Swamp Rats 52
In the Grand Battle of the IOPs, the Swamp Rats squandered a sizable early lead of 42 to 34 and were roundly buffeted by the Marsh Toads -- "humiliated" would not be too strong a word -- in the 45 Ramsar quiz questions.
At the end of day one of STRP11 (results of which will be announced in due course), two of the Ramsar Convention's International Organization Partners (Wetlands International and IUCN-The World Conservation Union), going by the name of the Swamp Rats, squared off against the other two (WWF International and BirdLife International), the Marsh Toads, and gave new meaning to the words "apparently rendered helpless by a demonstration of greater knowledge and preparation and some help from the judges".
The Swamp Rats looking rested and confident: Tunde Ojei, Doug Taylor, Jean-Yves Pirot, Elroy Bos
The Marsh Toads: Denis Landenbergue, Sian Owen, Dave Pritchard, Alexandre Belokurov
The quizmasters: Sandra Hails and Tobias Salathé
The scorekeepers, Valerie Higgins and Montserrat Riera, and the judges, Nick Davidson and Anada Tiéga
The crowd, breathless with anticipation
The Swamp Rats surge ahead, with questions like what is the smallest Ramsar site, and what is the largest, and who are the Convention's four Founding Fathers, and what did Project MAR stand for, and what's a sitatunga?
The Marsh Toads: Which country designated several new Ramsar sites because of their "flarks"?
Try this one yourself: "Which present Chair of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel can be seen in the centre of this photo, a while ago?"
Some answers ruled out of order by the quizmasters.
The tension mounts at the scoring table, as the Swamp Rats lose their early lead.
Disputes with the judges
The final score -- The Marsh Toads have it!
Prizes for the Marsh Toad winners (COP8 T-shirts and a book).
The Swamp Rats (still considering an appeal of the final outcome) with their prizes (Ramsar COP8 T-shirts (no book)).