Alexandra Green, 2013, Environmental Engineering

This summer I spent two months working for RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests at their Country Program Office in Hanoi, Vietnam (VCPO). RECOFTC, an international nongovernment organization (NGO) based in Bangkok, Thailand, works to increase the capacity of people living in and around forest regions by promoting community forestry practices, improving livelihoods, empowering communities, enhancing community governance, eliminating forest-related conflict, and fighting climate change. While at RECOFTC, my main objective was to write a preliminary draft of the first communications strategy for the VCPO, while also providing support for the office staff and learning about RECOFTC’s mission, strategy, and methods in the field. During my internship, not only did I learn about the technical aspects of community forestry and climate change in Vietnam, but also about the inner workings of an NGO and the policy and governmental relations necessary to make progress in the field. My experience in Vietnam has inspired me to examine environmental factors such as water quality in Southeast Asia for my senior thesis.