As part of my CDT training in Green and Sustainable Chemistry I have had the opportunity to explore a variety fields, which are not directly related to my PhD project. I have participated in various courses, workshops, competitions and summer schools on land management, sustainability, agriculture and the natural environment, which I have really enjoyed, and it has given me wide range of professional skills. Currently, I am about to complete a three-month placement at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarter in Nairobi, Kenya, which has been a very exciting and valuable experience for me.
I work in the Science Division of the UN Environment in the country outreach unit, and more specifically I have helped develop projects under the UN Environment’s programme ‘Environment under Review’. This programme aims to bridge the gap between the producers and users of environmental information, to then empower governments, stakeholders and policy makers to act on the latest science discoveries with evidence-decision making and planning.
For one particular project I work on, I have helped to develop a project proposal for enhancing networking and sharing of environmental information at national and regional levels. This has involved researching background information, developing timelines and milestones for the project, allocating budget for various activities, and compiling information and inputs from the offices of the UN environment from Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin-America and the Caribbean, West-Asia and Africa. For another project, which focused on improving climate change resilience in 14 Pacific Island countries by improving climate information services in the region, I conducted research on the current situation of how climate information is produced and used in the Pacific islands. From these projects I have learned a lot on how climate change affects different parts of the world, what measures are being taken to minimize the effects as well as how improved communications and networking between countries could help build resilience against climate change and improve the overall environment globally.
Throughout my placement I have also gained valuable insight on how the United Nations operate and it has been a great experience to work in an international organisation which aims to find solutions to world-wide issues. The UN office in Nairobi is a very dynamic and international environment to work in, and I have had the chance to work in a great team and with very friendly and helpful colleagues. Not only did I get to explore a different field of work, but I also got to explore a new country and culture. Kenya is a beautiful country, there is always something to do here and it has world-famous safaris and beaches that are only a few hours away from Nairobi.
Overall I have really enjoyed my placement at the UN Environment and my time here in Kenya- I have developed and gained a wide range of professional skills, I has the opportunity to experience a new culture and have I have met really nice people. This experience makes me feel inspired to explore the career opportunities I have following the completion of my placement and my PhD.
Astrid Delorme, Cohort 2