The Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are increasingly becoming aware that multiple hazards impact on their natural capital, which is the cornerstone of their efforts to achieve sustainable development and eradicate poverty, build resilience, and improve the quality of life for their people. The UNDP Pacific Office Resilience and Sustainable Development team supports work in relation to Disaster Risk Management, Environment, Energy and Climate Change in the Pacific region. This integrated team has the capacities to lead development debates, provide policy advisory and programming design and implementation at the regional, multi-country as well as country levels.
Disaster Risk Management – The Pacific is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. Between 1950 and 2013, 284 major disasters occurred in the Pacific caused mainly by severe storms, including tropical cyclones, affecting over 9 million people with 9,811 reported fatalities and US$3.2 billion in damage In addition, the incremental impacts of small and medium-sized hazards such as droughts, floods and other low-intensity events are equivalent to, or may exceed, those of single large disasters, as they tend to be more frequent and widespread. They affect a comparatively larger number of people, causing damage to housing, land, and local infrastructure, rather than major mortality or destruction of nationally critical economic assets. There is now a realization in the region that the linkages and overlaps between environmental management, climate-related risks, energy security and disaster risk management impact on the resilience of societies and nations to deal with the impacts of natural and economic hazards;
Environment – is the basis for life in the PICTs. The island countries’ natural land, water and marine resources constitute the natural capital that provides for sustainable livelihoods, food security and the social and cultural well-being of communities. The small island countries in the Pacific face major environmental challenges such as: the degradation of their ecosystems – biodiversity, land, marine and freshwater resources – through unsustainable resource management practices; increasing waste and pollution leading to contamination of sub-surface and coastal waters; unsustainable fisheries management, and unplanned urban growth. For sustainability, there is a need to balance the use of land and marine resources for food and water security and economic and social development with ecosystem and biodiversity conservation;
Energy – the Pacific region has the highest dependency on imported petroleum fuels in the world, exceeding that of the Caribbean island states. At present, conventional paths to development remain energy and resource intensive. However, there is a growing awareness that access to affordable energy services, renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, as well as low carbon development are necessary conditions for sustainable development. For example, the preparatory meetings for the 3rd SIDS Conference have called for the “concrete implementation of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative”. The dependency on imported fuels for commercial energy increases the vulnerability of PICTs to external economic shocks caused by increases in petroleum prices and increase energy insecurity. This not only affects the national economy, diverting funds that could be used for development, but also impacts at the household level where scarce income has to be used for meeting energy needs;
Climate change – and sea level rise are considered by the PICTs as the major challenge facing the region as they: “undermine efforts to sustainably develop in a multitude of ways across the Pacific, and threaten the livelihoods and security of the peoples of the Pacific region, as well as the survival, viability and sovereignty of Pacific nations”. This statement is based on the results of climate change models that predict global temperature rise will affect ecosystems, undermine traditional sources of livelihood, threatening the very existence of some PICTs through sea level rise. The major climate change impacts experienced by PICTs include:
These negative impacts on the livelihoods and well-being of communities are likely to be greater on vulnerable groups such as the poor, women and the elderly. At the national level, these impacts would also limit options for sustainable development for the country as a whole.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Research Assistant will provide valuable research support to the members of the Resilient and Sustainable Development team. S/he will work under the direct supervision and guidance of the Team Leader for the RSD Team. S/he will support:
Technical Assistance for Policy and Programming: Provide research support as needed to the members of the Resilient and Sustainable Development team related to Climate Change, Disaster Risk Management, Environment and Energy; this will involve inter alia:
Knowledge Management: Support the ongoing development of Knowledge Products and knowledge sharing for the RSD team. This includes inter alia:
Required Skills and Experience
This Internship Programme is adminstered by UNDP Pacific Office, therefore UNDP Internship rules and conditions will be followed.
UNDP may accept interns providing the following conditions are met:
How to Apply:
Interested applicant is invited to submit the following documents to http://www.fj.undp.org/content/fiji/en/home/operations/jobs/
General Internship Conditions:
Duration of Internship
Internship assignments vary in length according to the availability and academic requirements of the intern, as well as the needs of UNDP. However, they will normally last no less than six weeks and no more than six months. Internship assignments are available on a part-time and full-time basis throughout the year, depending on the availability of meaningful assignments and the needs and capacity of offices to receive and supervise interns.
Expenses for interns
Interns are not financially remunerated by UNDP. All costs connected with an intern’s participation in the Programme must be borne by:
Interns Insurance Cover
Applicants for internship must show proof of valid medical and life/accident insurance for the duty station for which they will work. It must include adequate coverage in the event of an injury or illness during the internship which:
UNDP is not responsible for any claims by any parties where the loss of or damage to their property, death or personal injury was caused by the actions or omission of action by the interns during their internship.
The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNDP but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship. Should an offer of employment be envisaged, a 3-month break, from the end of the internship, must be respected. Interns cannot apply for posts during the period of internship.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.