My summer internship should’ve come with a warning: Be prepared to memorize a lot of seemingly random letter combinations—more than when texting just came into popularity. See, the United Nations system is rife with abbreviations: DOALOS, ITLOS and a plethora of others….
Even where I work, OSA, is abbreviated. OSA is the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance, a partnership of nations and leaders, scientists and activists trying to garner support for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG—see? Another abbreviation!) number 14. SDG 14 is centered on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. The rallying call is for 10% of the world’s oceans set up as “marine protected areas,” where no fishing or human activity would be allowed- by 2020. OSA has gotten many countries support: Palau, Bahamas, Israel, and Poland, among others.
In fact, we are gearing up for an event soon! On July 1st, Ocean Sanctuary Alliance will be co-hosting, along with Poland, Palau, the Bahamas, Global Partnership Forum and Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, a large symposium at the UN, entitled “One Ocean: Regenerating Fish Stocks.” Here, success stories and methodologies for marine protected areas will be shared, as well as how to fund such ventures. I have had the immense pleasure of helping to set this amazing event up, as well as quite a lot of research on topics ranging from European fisheries policy to ecological performance of protected areas. I have gotten the chance to interact with some amazing people, and learn more about the United Nations system.
I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, and this internship came to me thanks to a series of serendipitous moments. This time last year, I was accepted into the Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women’s two-year scholars program. The first year of the program is spent learning about international relations and global policy through monthly seminars. You pick your top five internship placements from a large list of options, and you are placed somewhere for the summer. Global Partnership Forum, my top choice, created OSA as a flagship initiative. It just so happens that my supervisor is faculty here at Stony Brook, within SoMAS. It was perfect fit, my hypothetical glass slipper!
Follow the OSA on Twitter! Emily manages their account! @OSAOneOcean