CREATING SOCIAL JUSTICE
For the past two and a half years, Carina van Weelden has been living in Hanoi, Vietnam. Before that, she was in the Philippines, Mexico and Bangladesh. However, Carina van Weelden is not just a globetrotter. She also wants to make her contribution to “making the world a little bit better” as she says. This is why she decided to do an internship at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH during her master’s degree at TUM and get involved in nature conservation projects. She is currently overseeing a forest conservation project in Vietnam, where she is working with local government representatives to make forest management more environmentally friendly and at the same time more socially responsible. “Economic systems can only function well if they are circular systems,” Carina van Weelden firmly believes. While on one side of the globe the forest owners are called upon to produce sustainably, the Europeans on the other side of the globe are the ones who can contribute to sustainable forest management by buying wood in a responsible way. But also for the people in Vietnam who live off forestry, sustainable use must be ensured. “Environmental protection is not just philanthropy,” Carina van Weelden says. “Economic aspects play an important role.”
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
TUM has not only shaped her professional career, but also her private life. It was here that she met her partner, with whom she now travels the world. And the journey is far from over. “The world is so big and I certainly haven’t tired of moving around yet,” Carina van Weelden says. Although living and working abroad means knowing her family is far away, adapting to different lifestyles, and possibly being exposed to unhealthy environmental influences or air pollution, she gladly puts up with it: “I believe that I can make a contribution to improving people’s lives and to preserving global goods and them being used more sustainably.” The desire for social justice, regardless of origin, continues to drive her.
Master Sustainable Resource Management 2015
In 2012, Carina van Weelden graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Water Management from the University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. She then completed a master’s degree in Sustainable Resource Management at TUM, graduating magna cum laude in 2015.
During her studies, she did an internship at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which took her to the Philippines. Since then, she has lived primarily in Asia, where she works as a conservation consultant for GIZ. The projects are funded by the German government and are implemented in cooperation with local governments.
The primary goal of her work is the sustainable and socially equitable management of ocean and forest ecosystems, for example, as well as the preservation of local biodiversity. Carina van Weelden is currently based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and is supporting a bilateral project on sustainable forest management.
In her free time she enjoys exercising, scuba diving, surfing and hiking. She is passionate about Origami and learning new languages.