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PCGS Students Recap on Prestigious UNWTO Internship

July 24th, 2017
by Chastity Heusinger


At PCGS, we pride ourselves on our global internship program, an experience which allows our students to experience first hand, how policy and practice come together. Every semester, our students begin new internships and projects that take what they learn in the classroom to the outside world. This year, PCGS is engaged with the United Nations World Tourism to recognize 2017 as the "Year of Sustainable Tourism".

Here, you will meet one of our interns, Ivy Yin. Ivy is a policy analyst intern at the United Nations World Tourism Observatory (where PCGS is a partner!). Keep reading for a firsthand account of this internship experience in his own words:

"Tourism's role is steadily becoming recognized as one of the key contributors to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Tourism accounts for 9% of the global GDP and 1 in 10 jobs around the world are in tourism. This is an exciting year to be working with the UNWTO since 2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

My role for the UNWTO is policy analysis. So far I have attended a wide variety of meetings including:

  • United Nations Conference to negotiate a legal-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.
  • Meeting discussing SDG 3: To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.
  • Meeting discussing SDG 5: To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Currently I'm attending the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. I'm learning how each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are essential in achieving long term sustainability.


At PCGS we frequently discussed the relationship between the environment and the economy. Here at the UN I've witnessed an overwhelming acknowledgment from representatives that we must put the environment first for a sustainable future. Last week I traveled to Mexico for an assignment and saw this first hand when I met Bernardo Alferez. For many generations the ocean has provided a way of life for Bernardo and his family. His grandfather owned 7 fishing boats that he recently has been forced to sell due to depleted fish stocks. Bernardo stated, 'The ocean is all I know. The ocean is my life..' This is the case for hundreds of millions of people around the world. The ocean is all they know. Sustainable Development Goal 14 is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. We must not only designate more of our oceans as marine protected areas, but we must strengthen enforcement efforts to combat illegal fishing.

Much of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants that are dying at rapid rates. I've learned here at the UN that this is why we must all commit to advancing clean energy efforts and mitigate climate change through innovation in policy, technology and finance."

Are you interested in learning more about our Master of Arts in Global Sustainability and our global internships in sustainability? View more info or like us on Facebook.