1st Entry

Posted by andre at Jul 05, 2012 09:55 AM |
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I have not yet fully integrated into my new workplace. The past two weeks have seen me fall back into the familiar role of observer here at the Jamaican National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). I have been assigned to the Policy and Planning Division, but my work station is located amidst members of the Ecosystems and Air Quality divisions- contributing to my feeling of being somewhat out of place. Nevertheless, work continues at a normal pace.

My assignment as of this writing is related to the Land Based Sources of Pollution (LBS) Protocol of the Cartagena Convention. Specifically, I am to review Jamaica’s domestic efforts to augment their wastewater permitting process before subsequent ratification of the Protocol. This includes a review of the draft regulatory changes to the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act- to be promulgated some time later this year- as well as editing previous drafts of the two guideline documents for regulators and licensees. By the time of the new regulation’s passage, these two guideline documents must accurately reflect the regulations and adequately explain the wastewater permitting process to both those whom may submit permit applications and the NEPA employees who will be reviewing said applications.

I can already feel myself becoming less of an observer and more of an active participant in the daily office activity. It hasn’t taken long to figure out where my project is going in terms of objective and importance. I can only hope that this trend continues for the next two months and that my time here will have been well spent.

Lessons Learnt: The best lesson gleaned from these setbacks is that one must simply be patient and willing to direct one’s own work when necessary. Some things are not in need of change simply because they are inconvenient, nor can one always be capable of affecting change in such situations.

Challenges faced:The actual work has gone somewhat slowly as my arrival at NEPA has directly coincided with the departure of one of my project supervisors, leaving a gap in my access to information as she trains her replacement. Unfortunately I am not clear on how my work will be evaluated. Other delays have been the result of technical difficulties such as outages in power or internet, and a still unresolved issue with server access permission.