In the words of Yunjoo Cho
Birdwatching at Hwaseong Wetland/ⓒYeonah Ku/EAAFP
Wow, what a journey! I still remember my first day at EAAFP Secretariat in March 2021 when the office was under the renovation. At that period, I didn’t expect that I would stay here for 9 months learning extensive scale of work from my colleagues. Just as other colleagues, I could learn a lot of real-work experience as well, but the most important value I gained through the EAAFP internship was my inner growth. Before I began working here, I simply believed that everything would work out only with enthusiasm and creativity. But I got to realize that there are abundant amount of work and discussions behind every project or task given. Organizations are not being ran only with some individual’s brilliant idea or activeness. Staff members are all working together, asking, and reflecting each other’s opinion, which defines what the organization is. I learned how to collaborate with others efficiently, and it helped me a lot prioritizing my tasks.
At G-tower lobby/ⓒSue Lee/EAAFP
Also, I was very surprised at the fact that there are plenty of people across the world who are deeply engaged in nature conservation and migratory waterbirds with their variety of expertise. They love nature environment and birds so much, that they are eager to collaborate with the EAAFP to implement a real beneficial project for the wildlife. It was great working with them, including partners of EAAFP such as BirdLife International, IUCN, Hanns-Seidel Foundation, and various government partners. And especially for me, I had an opportunity to be a focal person to contact with local communities as a Foundation Assistant. The EAAFP Foundation Small Grant Fund Programme led me to grasp how local NGOs implement domestic conservation activities with the community. In my perspective, local NGOs and civil society are the key players of our community since they are the ones who are actively engaging in environmental conservation who are changing the world in the very front line.
Birdwatching at Namdong Reservoir/ⓒHayoung Son/EAAFP
While working here, almost every assistant gain an opportunity to go birdwatching. I had several times to watch birds as well, but the most impressive memory I had was a business trip to Hwaseong Wetland. I counted over 50 Black-faced Spoonbills, and 300 Godwits in one sight each. Getting to know birds was very fascinating since it felt like watching another world which I have never seen before. After my internship ends, I guess I will go outside do birdwatching whenever it is possible. Through the internal study session with the Programme team assistants regarding Climate change and migratory waterbirds related topics, I learned that birds are the key indicator of Climate change and since they are at the highest hierarchy at the ecosystem pyramid, their ecological importance is very high. This fact made me get interested in birds and their habitats more.
Songdo Tidal Flat/ⓒYou Jin Lee/EAAFP
Since the EAAFP Secretariat is located at G-tower in Songdo, I had a chance to hang out with other interns from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and had a conversation with deputy director of UNESCAP North-East Asia Office. It was valuable to talk with them, and I also appreciate those special connections I gained while working at the EAAFP Secretariat.
Interns’ Day, December 2021/ⓒHyoin Kim/EAAFP
It’s hard to believe that I am leaving EAAFP Secretariat – time flies so fast! I deeply appreciate all the staff members I have worked with. I was able to gain invaluable experience which I could say that the internship experience at EAAFP would be my turning point for my future. I learned the importance of communication with others and the importance of nature conservation. I hope my working experience based on EAAFP and knowledge from my major would create a wonderful synergy, and ultimately lead me to contributing to make a better society. Thank you for teaching me how to take a first step towards the better future, and how to be an upgraded version of Yunjoo Cho.
ICLC Booth Operation/ⓒYuji Lim/EAAFP