Valedictory message from departing Secretary General


31 July 2007

As this is my last day as Secretary General, it is my last opportunity to note something on the web site!! It had been a great pleasure working in the post of Secretary General for the last four years, and reflecting back shows we have moved the Convention forward in many important areas.

This is due to the combination of efforts from Contracting Parties, from IOPs and the wider Ramsar community generally - and I thank you for it most sincerely. Of course, even after 36 years, there is still much to do to make it also fully effective, and I wish you all the best to ensure that happens. I shall watch with interest the further development of the Convention, which is sure to occur.

There is little doubt that the reforms we put in place at COP9 have been very successful. With good support from the Korean authorities and civil society, the preparations for COP10 are moving ahead well. I am sure this will continue under the able leadership of my successor, Anada Tiega, and I wish him well in this regard.

One of the challenges is to ensure the newly nascent regional initiatives are brought rapidly to a functioning level, and that needs support from all the Ramsar players. The future, from that perspective, looks exciting and vibrant.

We have been lucky in attracting funds from the private sector recently, including a new development with the Danone Groupe, which will be explained on the web in future, as it unfolds. So watch this space!

Before finishing, I should like to express my thanks to the staff of the Secretariat, who collectively have helped deliver such a high-quality service to the Parties, IOPs and the wider public during my time at Ramsar. You owe them a lot!!

And, if in future you wish to contact me, will find me!

-- Peter Bridgewater
Secretary General

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