Ramsar European Assistants pass the torch
Solemn ceremonies mark the changing of the European guard (and 2,322 birthdays)
On 8 November 2000, Alexander "Sasha" Belokurov (Russian Federation) took his leave of the Ramsar Bureau, accompanied by many sighs and groans from Bureau staff and more ceremonial vodka than was wanted, and Inga Racinska (Latvia) was welcomed to his recently vacated adjustable chair as Assistant to the Regional Coordinator for Europe. Following several weeks of working together with Sasha, Inga is ready to fill his big shoes.
Alexander Belokurov delivers a heartfelt "ciao for now" to his Bureau colleagues, promising to promote Ramsar principles wherever he may next find himself working for wetlands.
Inga Racinska accepts the mantle of Ramsar workhorse for Europe and promises to promote Ramsar principles from Sasha's workstation over the next twelve months, and afterward as well.
Dr Tobias Salathé (center) salutes the fine efforts of his taller former Assistant and welcomes the 4th Intern/Assistant to the Regional Coordinator for Europe since the beginning of the Internship Programme.
The Bureau festivities pictured above were also in honor of a very large number of November birthdays amongst Bureau staff, in fact, nearly all of them. Why all in November? (Something to do with springtime?)