|"Wetlands: water, life, and culture" |
8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2002
COP8 begins 18 November 2002
The past few days have gone by in a frenzy in Valencia, as Ramsar Bureau and additional secretariat staff have been laboring alongside personnel from local and federal government and a contracted logistics firm to convert Valencia´s enormous and impressive Museum of Sciences into a convention centre virtually overnight. The 27th meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee took place in the venue on Sunday, 17 November, and the SC transformed itself into the COP8 Conference Committee for the duration of the proceedings.
One end of the Museum of Sciences, with the delegates' entrance.
Ramsar interns waiting out their connections in the airport at Barcelona.
What will soon become the Documentation Centre, with lots of documentation in boxes.
Ramsar and Wetlands International staff stuffing T-shirts and guidebooks into complementary COP8 bags.
Ramsar Administrator Annette Keller (right), setting up the Ramsar Documents Distribution Centre, with the invaluable help of Mishka Stuip (left), seconded from Wetlands International, before turning the documents operation over to Montse Riera once the Registration Desk had begun to cool down a bit. Annette then transformed into the secretary for the Credentials Committee, and Mishka returned to her work with Wetlands International.
Secretariat offices still literally being built in the upper floor of the museum, 16 November.
Sunday, 17 November, saw registration for most delegates and observers, with the COP's Opening Ceremonies to begin tomorrow, the 18th. We've also had a successful 27th meeting of the Standing Committee, as it transformed itself into the Conference Committee and ironed out the meeting's logistics, as well as a meeting on a draft action plan for Africa's wetlands under the framework of the New Partnership for Africa's Development -- and the Global Biodiversity Forum drew to a close in its third day, including the Ramsar workshop on communications, education, and public awareness.
If the Museum of Sciences was rapidly being got ready, the Museum of Arts is going to take a while longer.