1st Entry - 29 May 2012

Posted by andre at Jul 04, 2012 05:35 PM |
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My internship began on 14 May 2012, just one week after I graduated from university. I was assigned to assist with the protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife, the SPAW programme.  This protocol aims to protect, preserve and manage in a sustainable way: a) areas that require protection to safeguard their special value, and b) threatened or endangered species of flora and fauna.

Although I was mostly reading during the first couple of days to familiarise myself with SPAW, I have had many demanding assignments since then because the office is preparing for five important meetings in October. Although the SPAW team will be helping with all the meetings, we have to focus specifically on the Fifth Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (5th SPAW STAC) to the SPAW Protocol and the Seventh Meeting of the Contracting Parties (7th SPAW COP) to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) in the Wider Caribbean Region. These will take place on October 22nd and 23rd, respectively.

One of the major tasks that I have been given so as to help prepare is to update the SPAW focal point contact list. This is a comprehensive list of all the governmental designees from all the Caribbean countries (even those that have not ratified the SPAW Protocol) that are responsible for implementing and enacting SPAW recommendations. Once that list was finalised, I was then asked to send out the official invitations (to afore mentioned meetings) via email to the focal point contacts. Now, I am in the process of logging all the incoming responses and following up on the emails that may have been sent to a wrong email address. In and amongst all this, I have had to proof-read several documents, create an Observer’s Report with updates from all the work that has been done under SPAW in the past year and I was even able to use my French language skills a few times when drafting documents.

Challenges to date: My printer still has not been set up!

Lessons learned: It is better to take the initiative and offer your services and help, rather than sitting around and waiting for someone to ask for help.