While reading up further on UNEP and SPAW, it became clear to me just how vast and important the work done here is, and how much I have to learn from being a part of this team.
The first days flew by in a flurry of unfamiliar acronyms, battles with the photocopier, research-based tasks and new experiences. Activities this week included a very helpful and interactive introductory session held for the interns, during which we were formally introduced to the work of the UNEP-CEP and its various sub-programmes. Another highlight was the opportunity to put my research skills to use while investigating regional coral reef reports and action plans. All things considered, I am very excited to see what the next few months will bring!
Despite thinking I had a pretty good grasp on what I was getting myself into with this internship; I quickly realized that there was so much more to learn. All the various programmes, sub-programmes, conventions, treaties, protocols etc. can get pretty overwhelming at times, and often seem to meld together. Any confusion experienced is then almost guaranteed to be worsened by a massive collection of obscure acronyms.
So far, I have learned to approach new tasks and information with an open mind and simply not allow myself to become overwhelmed if they seem particularly daunting.