Internship: Environmental and Natural Capital Team

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

New York, NY, United States 🇺🇸


UNDP’s Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability and efforts to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, and strengthen resilience. Drawing on over forty years of experience, UNDP assists countries to integrate environmental concerns into national and sector plans and strategies, secure resources, and implement programmes that advance inclusive, sustainable development, and strengthen livelihoods of women and men in poverty.

UNDP support for environmental management and nationally-owned sustainable development pathways includes the following areas: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, including Forest Management; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification; Water and Ocean Governance; Climate Change; Energy; Chemicals and Waste Management; and Green Economy. UNDP works across these areas to address issues of environmental governance, policy, regulation, capacity development, financing, human rights, gender, technology, South-South learning, and public, private, and civil society partnerships at all levels.

As a leading purveyor of environmental technical assistance and grant financing, UNDP works in over 170 countries and territories, including LDCs, SIDS, post-conflict and fragile states. UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Multilateral Fund (MLF), and Adaptation Fund (AF), since their establishment. UNDP has assisted over 150 countries to access more than $2 billion from environmental vertical funds since 2010.

The intern will join the Environment and Natural Capital Team, Sustainable Development Cluster – hosted in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS). The team in New York headquarters assumes the overall function for guidance and tool development, global partnerships, knowledge management and quality assurance for the organization. Substantive and programmatic support is also offered through global and regional programmes such as the Poverty-Environment Initiative and the Biodiversity Finance Initiative.


Duties and Responsibilities

The main responsibility of the intern is to assist the Environment and Natural Capital Team on knowledge generation and management in the thematic area of sustainable management of natural resources. More specifically, the work will focus on research and knowledge management tasks related to:

  1. Integrated environmental and natural capital approaches that advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with particular reference to socio-environmental impact assessments and metrics;
  2. Financing tools, mechanisms and instruments (e.g. green taxes, impact investment) to mobilize resources for sustainable development (sustainable/green finance).

Summary of expected tasks:

  1. In consultation with the team, to research on and organize resources/documents related to socio-environmental impact assessments and green/sustainable finance;
  2. Support the team in updating and expanding the online platform “Financing solutions for sustainable development” through background research and website content management (no advanced IT skills required);
  3. Assist with the production of policy briefs, notes and case studies, as necessary;
  4. Assist with the organization of meetings, conferences and events, as necessary;
  5. Perform other tasks as required to support the work of the team.


Corporate Competencies:

  1. Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values;
  2. Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning

  1. Promotes knowledge management and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  2. Actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  1. Ability to perform a variety of specialized tasks related to Results Based Management, including support to design, planning and implementation of programmes, managing data, reporting.

Leadership and Self-Management

  1. Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  2. Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  3. Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  4. Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.

Required Skills and Experience

  1. Currently enrolled in a Master’s degree programme in economics/finance, environmental studies, social science or related international development field. Candidates with a Master degree are also welcome within 1 year from graduation;
  2. Sound knowledge of environmental economics and/or finance, and related development issues is an advantage;
  3. Experience in conducting research in university or think-tanks is an asset, but is not required;
  4. IT literacy; Familiarity with the use of social media channels and web tools for disseminating knowledge will be preferred;
  5. High proficiency in written and spoken English; knowledge of Spanish, French, and/or other languages is an additional asset.