The other interns also presented a summary of the work they had been doing thus far with UNEP, which made me excited to start; I knew I would be getting real work experience relevant to my degree, interests and future career path. That afternoon after the meeting, the other interns and I were asked to help package items the staff would be taking to Aruba for the first meeting of the Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee (STAC) to the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities (LBS). It was interesting to acquaint myself with the purpose of this meeting and the LBS protocol.
The following week, real work began. My first assignment was to provide assistance to CEP’s upcoming kid’s webpage. I was asked to research environmental facts about the Caribbean’s ecosystem, biodiversity, different species and how to help protect the environment, and write my findings to appeal to kids between the ages of 7-11. I enjoyed this task a lot, I learned from the research I did and had a fun time thinking of ways to make it appealing for children. After the final draft was submitted, I was asked to review the Spanish edition of the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region and its Protocols. Although this task was long and often tedious, I got a chance to read through the entire convention, which taught me a lot about UNEP’s work in the wider Caribbean region. My next assignment was to provide feedback to improve and update the Intern Orientation Manual. The second week of June I was given a list outlining the tasks I would be working on over the 3-month period. I checked off three tasks I had already completed during my first two weeks, and starting researching for my fourth task, which is an on-going assignment to be submitted weekly. I am to provide my supervisor with weekly environmental updates and news stories related to the work of AMEP (Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution), which I have enjoyed doing as I love exploring websites such as National Geographic. I have had a great start here at UNEP and I look forward to completing my list of tasks!
Challenges faced: So far the only minimal problem I’ve had had to do with the Spanish corrections of the Convention.
Lessons learnt: I have learned a lot about UNEP’s work in the region.