New Secretary General joins the Ramsar Bureau, 1 August 2003


Dr Peter Bridgewater today assumes the post of Secretary General of the Convention. In a short message, he has said:

"I am really pleased to be able to join the Convention at this important stage in its development. As I write this, I am in Canberra, Australia, where parts of the country are suffering from drought not seen for over 100 years. And it is the same in Europe. As this is the International Year of Freshwater, these events assume special meaning, and our Convention assumes a new role and new responsibilities. Wetlands are key to conserving, purifying and providing water, as well as key in conserving biodiversity and cultural diversity. The mutual interactions between people and wetlands must become a focus for study, understanding and action by the Convention in the next decade, as part of the global drive to enhance our freshwater supplies.

To emphasise these issues I have provided the wetland image for this Web page, a painting by artist Robert Ingpen, using fine art drawings by Botanical artist Celia Rosser, of the Ramsar site known as Western Port Bay in Victoria, Australia. This picture illustrates the relationship between art, science and conservation, and underlines the need for effective communication and education about wetland issues. So, in the last months of the Year of Freshwater, think water, think wetlands, think wise use, think Ramsar!"

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