CELCOR’s programme of intervention is driven by a vision to see PNG communities living in harmony with environment and culture in a just, holistic and sustainable way. With profound commitment to achieving this vision, CELCOR seeks to play a strategic role in contributing to multifaceted programs dedicated to promoting and defending environmental and customary rights in PNG, through Law and advocacy to ensure sustainable resources use and management for the benefit of present and future generations.
With its prodigious vision, CELCOR embarks on developing the next generation of conservation leaders in Papua New Guinea through its internship program. CELCOR internship program was started in 2004 that targets final year undergraduate law and science students.
CELCOR’s intern program was designed to assists in career development by providing practical hands on work experiences that present students with opportunities to explore their interests in the field of Environment (Natural Resources Law) and conservation and develop professional skills and competencies that would help them to move up the conservation and legal career ladder that will deliver concrete results.
The internship programme was resurrected in 2018 after a long break due to financial constraints. A total of three students joined the programme. Two students were from the School of Law while the third was from the Environment and Sustainable development department of UPNG. This year CELCOR has engaged three final year students from UPNG School of Law as legal interns attached to the legal section and a recent Economics graduate as Community Legal Education Awareness Raising (CLEAR) intern within the CLEAR section.
The two legal interns are currently studying at the Legal Training Institute of PNG. Both legal interns shared their experiences, stated that the internship had not only provided the practical experience of the administrative legal work such as drafting of court documents, serving files, conducting file searches etc, but had also enabled a better understanding of environmental issues and the legal perspective associated with these. “Environmental law course at UPNG is offered as an optional course, these maybe a reason why many do not value its importance” stated Mr. Jilawara on the interest of environmental law.
Steven and Betrin shared the same sentiments that the experience with CELCOR was an eye opener having been exposed first hand traveling to communities in the rural areas and seeing the challenges and struggles they faced both as an impact of natural resource projects as well as poor delivery of basic government services. Ms. Geluwa stated that, “it was important to promote the interest of people especially when companies are operating within their customary land” she further added that now she was determined to be more involved in advancing our country in ensuring that when any development took place proper processes and procedures should be followed.
Steven and Betrina praised the legal internship programme stating that it is now popularly known within the Law school, particularly for the final year students and encourages the continuity of the programme.