Some reorganisation and refocusing of the staff here in Gland
A message from the Secretary General:
To reflect in a more realistic way the needs of our Contracting Parties, we have reorganised and re-titled our regional coordination teams as Regional Advisory Units. Each Unit is headed by a Senior Advisor, with an Assistant Advisor. As we try to develop other regional support, especially from Contracting Parties, we will add this to our Regional Advisory Units. The Senior Advisor for Trade and Development will be working more closely with Regional Advisory Units to provide a better level of support and service delivery to Contracting Parties. And, of course, the MedWet Coordinator remains a part of this technical group, but continues, with the generous support of the Greek government, to be based in Athens.
Sandra Hails has been re-titled CEPA Programme Officer, giving more emphasis to the needs of the developing CEPA programme - albeit still not well-funded. Due to generous support from the Government of Andorra, Sebastià Semene has been seconded for 2004 as Special Assistant for Outreach, Media and Culture to try and bolster our outreach efforts, and to advance the issues of cultural diversity and biological diversity in wetlands, following from the decision at COP8, and to work with UNESCO and UNEP as they develop this issue more widely.
And finally, to reflect the nature of what we do in a better way, henceforth we will be using the title "Ramsar Secretariat" rather than "Bureau". This will bring us into line with terminology for our related Conventions. This means that the Ramsar Secretariat will now be the body that, according to the Convention text, assumes "the continuing bureau duties under this Convention", with the support of the IUCN.
While changes of titles sometimes mean little, we believe these changes will improve the way we are perceived, and we are using these changes to renew our commitment to providing the best possible service to our Contracting Parties.