Naresh Patel MCIWEM

How long have you been a member of CIWEM?

3 years.

What does being a member of CIWEM mean to you?

Being part of a global community that advocates for exemplary water and environmental management. The kudos and clout that the Institution and members can provide in professional matters.

What advice would you give to anyone considering starting out on the application process?

Don't be dismayed and compare yourself to others who may be further along in their own journey (though it's human nature!). Take time to reflect and identify your strengths. Always keep yourself open to new opportunities especially those you may think are not immediately within your role or remit - being able to connect the dots goes a long way.

How do you think your membership/professional registration will support you in your career?

It will assist with progress towards Chartership – C.WEM and CEnv and help me develop as a holistic and multidisciplinary environment and sustainability professional. Membership will let me connect with others within CIWEM and beyond allowing knowledge sharing and understanding of unique perspectives and constraints. All this will be invaluable providing me professional and personal credibility when promoting and embedding the Environmental Agenda.

Please describe your job role and day to day activities that your job entails?

As a consultant my role is varied. Internally I’ve delivered a range of presentations to improve awareness of key issues including Invasive Species and the Circular Economy. I’ve also supported on our ISO 14001 management system leading on carbon footprint reporting. Externally I work with clients to develop and deliver programmes of work and individual projects. This has included renewable energy assessments, governance for delivering biodiversity net gain and coordinating riverine habitat improvements with other stakeholders.

What inspired you towards a career in this sector?

My previous MSc in Aquatic Resource Management gave me a solid grounding and passion for aquatic environments, emphasising its importance to nature and to people. I wanted to continue the applied nature of the course and so the water sector was a good fit. Water is a precious and under pressure resource so the career is both challenging but ultimately rewarding.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Being selected to write and being published within CIWEM’s The Environment Magazine and their inaugural Youth Takeover edition in March 2020. It was written entirely by under 30’s and circulated to the membership around the world. The writing itself was a surprisingly cathartic experience but knowing I’ve been able to advocate for the environment alongside my peers in such a way was humbling.

What do you see as the biggest changes facing the sector over the next 10 years?

Climate and Ecological Breakdown simply put is all encompassing. Translating these mega trends into robust strategy but then also cost-effective operational outputs will be a real challenge. It will require vision, adaptability and collaboration across the sector and wider society.

Correct as of July 2020.

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