Programme assistant UNEP

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. 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 Global Peatlands Initiative was launched with the aim to protect Peatlands as the world’s largest carbon stock.This post is located in Ecosystems Division, Terrestrial Ecosystems Unit, Global Peatlands Initiative (TEU / GPI) at the UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi,

The internship is for a minimum of three (3) months, with the possibility of extension up to a maximum of six (6) months, depending on the needs of the office.

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.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's academic background, skill-set, the Intern's assigned office and duration of internship. Under the supervision of the Global Peatlands Coordinator, duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Updating the GPI website and social media sites;
  • Drafting project concepts, proposals, and implementation agreements on subjects relevant to Peatlands restoration, conservation and sustainable management, such as ecosystem services, trans-boundary collaboration, conservation and carbon finance, biodiversity and climate change;
  • Assist in the preparation of GPI events, workshops or south south exchanges to take place in GPI partner countries or donor countries;
  • Assist in the development of awareness raising, outreach or advocacy materials including project proposals to a variety of donors;
  • Research for information on Peatlands best practices in conservation, sustainable management and restoration;
  • Assist with preparations for the GPI Steering Committee meetings, and various virtual or face to face meetings of the partnership and attend if held in Nairobi;
  • Assist with ad hoc GPI meetings and workshops and prepare meeting summaries, minutes and follow up communications as required;
  • Provide remote technical assistance and regular communication liaison within the GPI Partnership and with members of the public;
  • Undertake other tasks as required, and in accordance with the intern's interests and experience.


Communication: 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:

  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent). Enrollment in a graduation programme focused on environmental science, environmental policy, biodiversity and conservation, development studies or related field OR;
  • Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation;
  • Demonstrated interest in issues related to ecosystems management, restoration, biodiversity conservation, climate change or sustainable development and knowledge is required;
  • Knowledge of Peatlands or Wetland ecosystems functioning will be a distinct advantage;
  • Be computer literate in standard software applications;
  • Strong interest and familiarity with communication, including social media and similar online platforms;
  • Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and has a personal commitment to the ideals of the UN Charter.

Learning elements and expectations

Upon completion of the assignment it is anticipated that the Intern will:

  • Have substantive knowledge of environmental conservation and management issues in UNEP and be able to advise on potential best practices and approaches;
  • Have gained a better understanding of the UNEP HQ operations and the overall United Nations system;
  • Have improved communication skills through interaction with UNEP staff, Executive and Senior Management, governments and partner organizations.

Work Experience

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


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.