Intern (Environment Affairs)

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire 🇨🇮

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.

UNEP’s 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.

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP has a network of regional offices facilitating the relevant regional processes and coordinating coherent delivery of UNEP’s programme targeting the causes of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution through seven interlinked sub-programmes for action that include: Climate Action, Chemicals and Pollution Action, Nature Action, Science Policy, Environmental Governance, Finance and Economic Transformations and Digital Transformations.

The Africa Office is one of the six regional offices, and as such, supports environmental governance institutions and processes and engages a broad range of partners from the governmental, non-governmental, academic, and private partnerships around multilateral environmental agreements and sustainability programs and projects in response to national, sub regional and regional needs and priorities and in line with the UN Development System reform.

The West Africa Sub Regional Office was established in March 2015 in the context of strengthening UNEP’s strategic regional presence and relevance with the purpose to contribute to enhancing the advocacy, coordinate the development of a strategy for the effective implementation of UNEP’s programmes and projects in West Africa, in cooperation with governments and operational partners in the sub-region. The core functions include Political engagement and analysis and recommendations to inform decision-making processes; Programmatic collaboration; Strategic Partnerships and Networking with Governments, UN agencies, political and financial intergovernmental bodies; Resource mobilization; Communication and Outreach; and engagement in the UN coordination mechanisms, processes, and platforms at sub regional and national levels. The office serves also as a liaison with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Commission for Central African States (ECCAS).

With increased demand for service on the office to strengthen its responsiveness and accountability not only to member States and partners but also to the UNCTs in the context of the UN reforms and the UN Development and Resident Coordinator system, and also the programmatic coordination function, in addition to the upcoming UN Convention to Combat Desertification COP15 to be held in Abidjan in May 2022, the two interns will support the office in the implementation of the combined programme of work and specific projects and initiatives, in line with the core functions of the West Africa Office and the implementation of the UNSDCF in a number of countries in the region.
The two positions are related to climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and cross cutting sectors (are located in the West Africa Sub Regional Office, Abidjan duty station. The Internship is UNPAID and full-time.
The internship positions are for 3 months with a possibility for extension for another 3 months.


The selected intern(s) will be responsible for many of the following duties in support of UNEP work in West Africa, depending on his/her education background:

Under the supervision of the Head of the Office, the interns will perform the following duties:
• Assist in the mapping, analysis, and identification of strategic partners for UNEP further engagement in West Africa.
• Conduct desk research and collect information on the existing data and datasources; financing opportunities, learning materials and good practices at national and sub regional levels ;
• Assist in increasing stakeholders and partners engagement in projects and initiatives undertaken by the UNEP and AfDB-led environmental outreach platform. This includes activities with the government, private sector, and community-based projects.
• Support the review of existing partnership agreements and related action plans and solicit support from different UNEP divisions for the implementation of those agreements
• Support UNEP’s engagement/ delivery in the UN Country Teams in West Africa and assist in drafting inputs to the various programmes and processes; Joint Projects; UN Communication Group, UN Days; and entering data into the UNInfo, in Côte d’Ivoire and other countries in West Africa.
• Assist in preparations for the fifteen Conference of Parties to the UNCCD in the context of the UNCT Result Group 7 on natural ecosystems, climate change and resilience to disasters.
• Support Communication, Outreach and Visibility activities by assisting in the organization of Outreach events organized by UNEP including World Environment Day, World Oceans Day, Biodiversity Day, and World Drought and Desertification Day
• Assist in preparing contributions to the Africa Office newsletter, analytical papers, issue briefs, briefing notes and political briefs for use by the senior management or for publication through the UNEP Africa webpages
• Contribute to backstopping UNEP technical missions and projects to West Africa and liaise with other Units, Divisions and Offices and assist in the organization of meetings and workshops aimed at raising awareness on the triple environmental crisis.
• Participate in meetings with national stakeholders including the private sector.
• Perform any other duties as assigned.


• Communication: Ability to draft clearly and concisely, good written and oral language
skills. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately

• Teamwork: Good interpersonal skills, ability to work collaboratively with colleagues from different national and cultural backgrounds to achieve organizational goals. 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


To qualify for an internship with the United Nations Internship Programme, the following conditions must be met:
Applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

a) be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
b) be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent); or
c) have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation;

  • Be computer literate in standard software applications.
  • Knowledge of issues in the context of sustainable development and particularly its’ environmental
    dimension and related SDGs; environmental law; Sustainable development projects; and
    environmental awareness would be an advantage.

Work Experience

No working experience is required to apply for the United Nations Internship Programme. Your training, education, advance course work or skills should benefit the United Nations during your internship.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in spoken and written French and English is required for the Internship Programme. Knowledge of additional official United Nations language is desirable

NOTE: “Fluency equals a rating of “fluent” in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and “Knowledge of” equals a rating of “confident” in two of the four areas.


Potential candidates will be contacted by the hiring manager directly for further consideration.

Special Notice

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, interns may be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. The intern must be willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship. The work hours during the internship shall be determined based on individual discussion between the intern and the supervisor(s) taking into consideration the minimum requirements of the Organization and the time difference between the hosting office and the location of the intern.

Your application for this internship must include:

  1. A Completed application (Personal History Profile) through the UN careers Portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. In your Personal History Profile (PHP), be sure to include all past work experiences, IT Skills, and three references.
    2.Proof of enrollment (click on link to access and attach to your application:,
  • List the IT skills and programmes that you are proficient in using, and Explain why you are the best candidate for the internship and what you hope to gain from the internship.
  1. A certified 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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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.

No Fee