Sustineo recently welcomed Isabel Bremner into the team, joining us as part of the Australian National University’s (ANU) Australian National Internship Program (ANIP).
ANIP enables university students to experience applied and policy relevant research in action through a research-based internship. Sustineo has been hosting ANIP interns since 2018, and we love having fresh, bright minds join us and contribute insights on issues that are complementary to our work. We also get satisfaction from helping the next generation of social scientists pave their way and introducing them to our world of consulting.
We caught up with Isabel to get to know her a bit better – read on below!
Describe your ANIP project
I am investigating the suitability of the Plan Vivo carbon standard for use by small-holder coffee farmers in Papua New Guinea (PNG), with a particular focus on governance. My ANIP project falls under a project that Sustineo is undertaking with the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions. The broader project is looking at the feasibility of establishing governance and verification arrangements to allow smallholder coffee farmers to diversify incomes via engaging with carbon markets.
Plan Vivo is one of many organisations who offer certification of land-use projects for eligibility to sell carbon credits. In a range of stakeholder interviews conducted by Sustineo as part of this project, the Plan Vivo Standard has shown promise in comparison to other carbon standards, so my project is really trying to dig a bit deeper and understand exactly what using the Plan Vivo Standard means for small-holder coffee farmers in PNG.
Why is Sustineo a good fit for your ANIP internship?
I am studying a Bachelor of PPE (Politics, Philosophy & Economics) and a Bachelor of Science where I’m majoring in environmental science and sustainability. Even though this ANIP internship is contributing to my PPE degree, I am heavily drawing on the knowledge I have gained through studying environmental science and sustainability. In terms of this, Sustineo has been the perfect fit, because I am working on a project that brings in knowledge and experiences from both my degrees and interests.
What do you hope to achieve during your time at Sustineo?
I am looking forward to gaining a stronger understanding of how the voluntary carbon market is developing and what this means for projects on the ground. I am most excited to learn from the practical experience of the team at Sustineo. Overall, I hope my project can make a positive contribution to Sustineo’s broader work on potential carbon trading in PNG.
What has been your biggest learning experience from your studies so far?
University is so much more enjoyable when you are studying something you are interested in.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I can finish a 1,000 piece puzzle in less than a day. My back is usually aching by the end of it, but the satisfaction is worth it!
Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
I love ocean swimming, which isn’t a particularly easy hobby to undertake when living in Canberra. I also love cooking and, unsurprisingly, any kind of puzzle.
What was the last book you read?
Sally Rooney’s ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’. I don’t think it was the best of her novels, but I love any book set in Ireland because it reminds me of my university exchange at Trinity College Dublin in 2020.