I have learned a lot of useful skills and had a lot of positive experiences that I will be able to take with me when I leave. During the time that I spent here, I was able to complete many objectives listed under my Terms of Reference, but not quite all of them. However, I was able to accomplish my primary objectives of updating the SPAW Factsheet and SPAW website. In addition, I was able to assist with some of the standard reports that flow through the office.
The internship taught me a lot about how environmental programmes implemented by the United Nations within the Wider Caribbean Region operate. I developed many skills in my time here such as website and image editing, time management, and proposal development.
I was also able to participate in some activities outside of the office including a field trip to Negril, Jamaica to monitor the rate of growth of recently replanted sea grass beds in the area as a part of the GOJ/UNEP/EU Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Project.
This field trip demonstrated to me the extent of the challenges faced by the Caribbean Environmental Programme. There is overwhelming damage in many of these areas and even though there are efforts made to address these problems, a lot still needs to be done in order to ensure that the damage is reduced and eventually reversed.
I had to learn several new skills in order to accomplish many of the objectives outlined in my Terms of Reference. This included tutorials with the website developer to understand how the Plone platform of the website operates, learning about the processes within the office, and the process of approval before work can be finalized.
I think what will stick with me the most in the time after my internship will be exactly how the office operated and the importance of communication among people in an office environment. In addition to this, I have learned how to use the research skills that I have developed throughout my studies of International Relations to distill information from mounds of texts into relevant information that can be included in publications.