Written by Yeonah Ku
I have worked for EAAFP for 6 months from early Aug, 2018 to early Feb, 2019. The 6 months in EAAFP gave me a brilliant chance to grow.
When I started, I was looking at moving aboard, but at the same time I wanted to have more experience before taking the next step. In the end, working for the EAAFP Secretariat has worked out really well for me. Since I started materializing my plan for my career when I was an undergraduate student, I always wanted to work for an international organisation involved in conservation, especially biodiversity. I have worked for several non-profit organisations both part-time and full-time. I used to work for Wetlands and Birds Korea and Ramsar Regional Centre in East Asian, and so I learned about East Asian-Australasian Flyway and the partnership.
I have been in charge of planning and implementing of several projects related to communication, education, and public awareness (CEPA). I checked out Ms. Tomoko Ichikawa’s, the former Communication Officer, handover note and had phone calls with her to understand how her work had progressed.
I set the plan for the 2018 Knots Painting Competition and promoted it. For 4 months and more, the secretariat has gotten 149 applications from 7 countries. I have gotten so much help from EAAFP’s partners, conservation organisations in East Asia, and Australasian area. They posted the flyers for their wetlands centres, their website, social media, and newsletters. I felt very touched for all the support I received from them. All the jury judges for this competition worked voluntarily. Volunteers also helped with translating the English materials into Japanese and Chinese. Furthermore, many gifts were sponsored by private companies and public organisations, which were very helpful. More information: https://www.eaaflyway.net/activities/eaafp-campaigns/year-of-the-knots-2017-2018/
In addition, I have organised two workshops in RO Korea: International Workshop for Site Managers from the RO Korea; Workshop on the Design and Future Management of the Proposed Songdo Wetland Centre. In total, approximately 300 Koreans and foreigners participated in the two workshops. More information:
I made the detailed manual for implementation of the MOP 10 (Dec 2018, China) and assisted managing all the issues of logistics and meetings of the MOP. I planned the Partnership Talks and the Farewell Dinner to entertain participants who were tired from all the sessions they needed to focus on. The talks were touching as I saw the moments where the talkers and audience came to a positive conclusion. More information:
On the other hand, I planned the Sony and EAAFP Photography Awards in 2019, helping Ms. Yoon Kyung Lee. Here, I oversaw the promoting booth for 3 times in Korea, and gave speeches to school students and bird watchers in Korea. I also dealt with IT matters for the communication and general matters.
All these projects and works I have done gave me the chance to collaborate with people, in and out of the office. This 6 months’ experience was quite different to working at a sustainable development organisation and a biological lab in Korea, especially in terms of communication. Working in EAAFP created a solid bridge to help me adapt to a new environment for the future: Sticking to English emails, discussing with supervisors, suggesting issues to the staff members, and appreciating the hard work of my colleagues.
I’m humbled that all the staff members gave me a chance to do something new such as producing different types of promotion flyers, organising informal meetings, and using a different network storage. I am honoured that I was able to contribute to the EAAFP community.
Now I’m in a different country waiting for my next opportunity to apply what I’ve learnt. I wish you all the best.