© Brenda Lim
In the words of Tino Maduku
“Working with EAAFP Secretariat as a Communication Assistant Intern for the past 1-year was a memorable learning experience. Sadly, the time has come for me to say goodbye. I am grateful for the ideal internship experience where I gained hands-on experience in an international organization that is involved in important global conservation and environmental issues. I was progressively challenged to learn and apply myself as the work EAAFP is involved in was new to me, however, I was able to express myself through the solid orientation, training, supervision, and feedback I received throughout my internship.
As a Communication Assistant, I was involved in various CEPA projects and initiatives that aimed to raise the awareness of the status of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. I also engaged in various aspects of EAAFP’s work, such as managing and maintaining the EAAFP website, drafting and posting news articles, developing the monthly e-newsletter, developing the EAAFP calendar, and supporting online meetings and events. The first initiative I was involved in was the #LegflagChallenge photo contest which sought to encourage birdwatchers, bird photographers, and citizen scientists to document and report sightings of tagged waterbirds in the EAA Flyway. Through this initiative, I learnt the important role citizen scientists play in migratory waterbird conservation and the importance of collaboration by working with various international organizations and scientists who are involved in bird banding. I also had the opportunity to experience how scientists tag and color mark birds by participating in the Black-faced Spoonbill banding event which was held at Namdong Reservoir in July, 2021.
During my internship, I had the opportunity to appreciate important international events such as the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), which aims to highlight the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them. During WMBD 2021, the Communication Team prepared a virtual birdwatching tour of the Black-faced Spoonbill breeding site, Namdong Reservoir in Incheon, RO Korea. It was an interesting experience as we prepared a dialogue to showcase the breeding habitat, the behavior of migratory waterbirds, and how different waterbird species of live in harmony with each other.
Through my role as a Communication Assistant, I also offered technical support to international and national events, such as the Flyway Youth Forum, the Yellow Sea Joint Inventory webinar; the #LegflagChallenge webinar; and the Incheon-Hong Kong International Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Cooperation Forum. Through these important meeting and events, I gained insight into the role of cooperation among people, communities, and countries in achieving shared objectives. In October, 2020 I participated in the Suncheon roundtable meeting hosted by Suncheon City to explore ideas for building Inter-Korea cooperation. During this event, I learnt about the importance of international cooperation as countries are connected through the migratory birds that are freely crossing the borders.”
Black-faced Spoonbill banding event at Namdong Reservoir © Yehyun Shin
© You Jin Lee / EAAFP