Intern (Environment Affairs - Ecosystems Management)

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Panama City, , PA

Org. Setting and Reporting

The UN 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.

The Latin America and the Caribbean Office located in Panama City works closely with the 33 countries of the region – including 16 small island developing States, with a population of about 588 million people. The office works to serve the needs of the region and its activities are integrated into the work programs approved by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).

The management of ecosystems posed by UNEP has a natural resource management approach that seeks to highlight the value of biodiversity and ecosystems for the economy and societies, as well as the cost of their degradation and loss. This management focuses on the care and maintenance of ecosystems and biodiversity to meet future needs, both ecological and human. Latin America and the Caribbean is the region with the greatest biological diversity on the planet and hosts several of the countries considered mega-diverse in the world. Its economy depends largely on this rich biological diversity, which, however, is increasingly threatened by human activity and a series of factors that are related to each other, such as habitat transformation and alteration, overexploitation or unsustainable use of land and water resources, unsustainable land management practices, population pressure and globalization. One of UNEP’s priorities is for countries to use the ecosystem approach to improve human well-being and promote sustainable development. To achieve this, UNEP recommends the application of equitable policies – based on scientific information and traditional knowledge – that are participatory and intersectoral and that seek to protect and recover biological resources.

UNEP is undergoing a process of strengthening its regional presence. To this end, regional coordinators for most subprogrammes have been placed in regional offices, including for the “Ecosystems Management” subprogramme in Latin America and the Caribbean (based in Panama City). This also implies a process of strengthening the quality and scope of the subprogramme, to increase UNEP’s visibility with regional member states and intergovernmental organisations as the leader on environmental issues related to ecosystems management and biodiversity.

The objective of this internship is to support the regional “Ecosystems Management” subprogramme to expand in quality and scope, through research and administrative support to the sub-programme, the regional coordinator, and the team.

This internship in the Latin America and Caribbean Office is for six (6) months. The Internship is UNPAID and full-time. Interns work five days per week (40 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.
The Ecosystems Management subprogramme seeks one intern to cover the period February – July 2020, and one to cover the period July – December 2020. Candidates should make clear in their cover letters which rotation they wish to be considered for. Due consideration will be given to the complementarity of the final candidates, in terms of skills, technical and regional knowledge and interests.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual’s background; the intern’s assigned office as well as the internship period.

The intern will work with UNEP’s Latin America and the Caribbean Office’s Ecosystems Management Subprogramme, under the supervision of the Regional Coordinator for Ecosystems and Biodiversity and will:
– Support the Ecosystems Management sub-programme;
– Enable activities which increase the understanding of the values of ecosystem services for productive sectors and engage these sectors to improve protected areas management;
– Engage with the Regional Cooperation Programme for Biodiversity, supporting the activities and actions proposed;
– Support the various initiatives related to Oceans, including related to Blue Economy, Marine Litter and microplastics initiatives as well as the Integrated Coastal Zone Management.
– Develop infographics using regional data that can be used for the various projects and thematic areas in the sub-programme.
– Conduct secondary data research to support the development of concept notes, proposals or policy briefs.
– Support the preparation of communications pieces, technical briefing notes, news pieces, presentations, translations, draft reports and publications as necessary;
– Support the start-up phase of any projects if required;
– May assist in the organization of meetings, trainings and workshops;
– Support other activities as requested.


Core Competencies:
-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

-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 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);
b. Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
c. Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.

Be computer literate in standard software applications.

Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter;

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.

Studies in Biodiversity, Conservation, Environmental Management, Agricultural Engineering, Environmental Economics preferred, or other *demonstrably* relevant field of study;

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.


Excellent writing and communication skills in English and Spanish are required, since work will require research and communication, including reading and interviews, in both languages. Working knowledge of French is desirable.


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

Special Notice

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.





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