Jessica Axbergs medlemsblogg
First week at UNEP
Woah! This week has just rushed by. I started on Monday meeting with my supervisor Monica who introduced me to the office and my new collegues. She has really taken care of me and made sure I feel welcome. The UN compunds is huge! So it will take some time to get myself around. But pole pole as the say here (slowly slowly) and I will soon know every little corner of the building.
This week I have done a lot of reading of reports and the work they have done so far at UNEP (ESE unit). It’s a lot to read but it is super interesting. And I feel so happy beeing a part of this now. I will hopefully do a lot of things here but my focus point will be on The Inclusive Wealth Index report (IWR) and the Economics of land degradation (ELD). The IWR counts three forms of capital (human capital, manufactured capital and natural capital). And you have probably heard of the GDP right? The problem with GDP is that its only indicating a societys productivity right now and doesn’t really say anything about the well-being of the people in the society, which IWR does. To add on that, GDP can not say anything about a countrys ecosystem, which IWR can. To try make it even more clear:
- Manufactured capital: Investment, depreciation (värdeminskning) rate, assets lifetime, output growth, population, productivity
- Natural capital: fossil fuels, minerals, forest resources, agricultural land, fisheries
- Human capital: Population by age and gender, mortality probability by age and gender, discount rate, employment, educational attainment, embloyment compensation, labour force by age and gender
By adding these three forms of capital together you get an index that indicates how the conutry is doing. The last report is from 2014 and the plan is for a new report to be released next year, which I will be a part of (analysing, writing and putting together the report with many other contributers). The other work is the Economics of land degradation (ELD) which has put together a report called ”Benefits of action outweigh the costs”. Basically saying that if we invest in sustainable environment management, we will get many times back! A new report is to be released, covering Asia (the last report is only for Africa) which I will be a part of. And this time it will be more policy oriented so that countries can implement concrete changes.
Yesterday we had an information meeting all day for new staff and interns. Interesting and important, and it was fun meeting the other interns. I missed the intern introduction course the first day for some reason (I didn’t read my info letter well enough) so I’m happy I got to meet the new interns finally.
So how is Nairobi so far? I love it and I don’t miss Sweden at all! I have tried a few options going to the UN every morning – taking an uber taxi or a piki piki (motorcycle). The problem this week has been that there is a big conference which made the traffic jams even worse, so the first two days I spent 1,5 hour in traffic jams one way, a distance which usually takes 15-25 minutes. Anyhow, I usually start at 8.30 am and end my day at 16.30-17 pm.
My roomies are great! Jorunn from Sweden as well and Stevie from UK. And today Melanie is moving in (a swede as well!). So we will be four people sharing the apartment. Im getting more and more familiar with the area I’m living in (called Westlands) and I know the basic stuff; like where the grocery store is, the fruit market and where I can take a piki piki to work.
Three things from this week
– You have to plan your showers in the apartment (as you have to turn on a heater and it takes 30-60 minutes for it to get hot)
– The sun sets super fast. It’s still super bright at 6.50 pm and by 7 pm its pitch black!
– Im still trying to get used to all the cash they are using here. In Sweden I sometimes don’t touch cash in many months as I always use my visa-card.
All for now!
Over and out,