Intern (Programme Support)
Org. Setting and Reporting
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UNEP’s Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
The loss of forest, and the accompanying loss of ecosystems and the services they provide, threatens the security and livelihoods of local communities, reduces access to clean water, decreases soil productivity and accounts for 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, it has become apparent that the most significant threat to the world’s remaining forests is conversion for commercial agriculture and other non-forest use. Many of the environmental benefits of intact forest are unpriced ‘externalities’, resulting in the market mispricing natural forest assets. By converting forest to land and then producing tradeable commodities that the market can price, land users are able to take advantage of this perceived arbitrage opportunity. Anticipated global economic growth and changing diets will strengthen the demand for agricultural commodities and place additional pressure on forests in the foreseeable future, meaning that the pressure will get even bigger than it is today without a changing paradigm how land is managed and agricultural commodities are produced. The challenge is to advance sustainable land use by developing business models that can manage sustainable commodity production while also maintaining forests and forest ecosystem services.
Against that background, UNEP initiated a new Land Use Finance Project (‘the project’) to proactively help unlock and (re)direct public and especially private capital towards sustainable land use, including deforestation-free soft commodity production. The project is effectively an umbrella for a number of initiatives and finance facilities that UNEP either leads or is involved in, including the Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (a partnership with BNP Paribas and ADM Capital), the GEF Good Growth Partnership, the & Green Fund (a new de-risking vehicle set up by the Norwegian Government and IDH) and a partnership with Rabobank, FMO, Mirova/Althelia and IDH to unlock capital for deforestation-free agricultural production.
UN Environment is interested in expanding its work in unlocking private finance for sustainable land use, by establishing finance facilities that help reduce the risk and costs for private sector actors to direct capital to agribusiness firms and other private sectors. This is on the condition that more stringent forest protection and/or restoration measures are developed. In parallel, UN Environment will work with partner governments to create the right enabling framework – through regulation and economic incentives – to accelerate the drive towards sustainable land use.
This Internship position is located in the Land Use Finance Unit of the Freshwater, Land and Climate Branch, in Ecosystems Division within UNEP in Geneva, Switzerland, with the intended purpose of supporting this work for a minimum of three (3) months, to a maximum period of six (6) months. Interns work five days per week (35-40 hours), under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.
The Internship is UNPAID and full-time.
The specific details of the internship will vary according to the individual's background, the intern's assigned office as well as the period of Internship. Under the supervision of the Programme Officer, it is expected that his/her responsibilities will fall within one or several of the following broad activities:
• Support the Head of the Land Use Finance Unit, the Programme Officer and other team members within UNEP with ongoing activities related to various initiatives that are part of the
land use finance programme;
• Carry out relevant background analysis on private sector engagement in the agribusiness, finance and extractive sectors;
• Support work in relation to the finance facilities that are being set up to unlock private finance for sustainable land use;
• Draft minutes and briefings;
• Undertake any other routine duties as may be required from time to time.
Communication: Good report writing skills. Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed. Has demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand as well as be tolerant of differing opinions and views.
Teamwork: Good interpersonal skills. Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise. Is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
Client orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep supervisor informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects. Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
Applicants must, at the time of application, meet one of the following requirements:
(a) Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher). Enrollment in a graduation programme focused on (environmental) economics, finance, business administration or natural resource management; OR
(b) Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent); OR
(c) Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation;
• Final year students or academic background focused on Environmental Forestry, Environmental Management or related field preferred;
• Be computer literate in standard software applications;
• Possess good analytical skills;
• Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views;
• Have a keen interest in the work of the United Nations and has a personal commitment to the ideals of the UN Charter.
Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the Program.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the Internship advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of French or Spanish is desirable.
Potential candidates will be contacted by a hiring manager directly for further consideration.
Your application for this internship must include:
1. A Completed application (Personal History Profile) and Cover Note, through the UN careers Portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
The Cover Note must include:
- Title of the degree you are currently pursuing
- Graduation Date
- IT skills and programmes you are proficient in
- Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship
Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme, ensure to include all past work experience (if any).
2. Proof of enrollment from current University (if not graduated).
3. A copy of degree certificate (if you have already graduated).
Due to a high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.