Thursday, December 20, 2012

Student Opportunity: Internship for Spring Semester at Convention on Biological Diversity, Deadline: January 15, 2013

Note that the preferred start date for this internship is January 13, 2013, with a 4-6 month internship duration.  Location is in Montreal, Canada, the headquarters of the CBD.   Formal work will be with the Programme of Work on Lifeweb, Protected Areas, Dry and Sub-Humid Lands, and Climate Change.  Internship is unpaid.  Link to the announcement is here: 
Text of announcement below:


Minimum of 4 months (6 months preferable), commencing January 2013
1 in Montreal, Canada.
Please note that commencing date is negotiable

The purpose of this internship is to provide assistance for the implementation of the programmes of work on protected areas, dry and sub-humid lands and climate change of the Convention on Biological Diversity, specifically:

1) Reviewing information and making recommendations on PoWPA and LifeWeb areas of work
2) Reviewing information and making recommendations related to biodiversity and climate change.

The internship offers an opportunity for a graduate student to gain international work experience and become acquainted with the implementation of a major United Nations multilateral environmental agreement and the intergovernmental processes this entails.


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is one of the key agreements adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development – meeting our needs while ensuring that we leave a healthy and viable world for future generations. The Convention has 193 Parties and sets out commitments for maintaining the world's ecological underpinnings as we go about the business of economic development. The Convention establishes three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources.


Under the daily supervision of the CBD LifeWeb Associate Programme Officer and working closely with the Programme Officer on Climate Change and Dry and Sub-humid Lands, the intern will contribute to the substantive work of the Secretariat in advancing implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas.
The intern will contribute to the work of two separate but closely linked programmes of work, i.e. the programme of work on protected areas which includes the LifeWeb Initiative, and the programme of work on dry and sub-humid lands, including work on climate change and linkages with other multilateral environmental agreements. In particular, the tasks of the intern may include, but will not be limited to, the following:

Review, analyze, and make recommendations to improve online gathering of data, storage and analysis of protected area and related information and reports;

Research new and innovative knowledge management tools and other opportunities;

Research donor profiles and align their priorities with those of potential partner countries and projects seeking funding;
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General administrative and data entry related tasks as required;

Create PowerPoint presentations summarizing key documents

Conduct research on the impact of tropospheric ozone on biodiversity

Support the coordination of the cooperation of the Secretariat with other biodiversity-related MEAs, including the revision of the relevant sections of the CBDs website
The work will
inter alia involve desk study, review of existing project and country profiles, internet research, liaising with relevant institutions and SCBD staff, and the drafting of documents. TOR may be further specified in accordance with the needs of the Secretariat as well as the personal interests and qualifications of the candidate.

Please note the following minimum eligibility criteria for an internship at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Applicant MUST:
1. Be currently enrolled in a graduate (Masters) or post-graduate (PhD) programme;
2. Submit an endorsement from the Nominating/Sponsoring Institution;
3. Be willing to intern on a full-time basis spending five days a week for a period of at least four months;
4. Be covered by medical insurance and before arrival (if selected) provide the Secretariat with a medical doctor’s attestation of your general health.


Candidates from all disciplines are welcome to apply for this post. However, a strong interest in multilateral diplomacy and sustainable development is essential and prior experience in communications would be highly regarded. In addition, prior exposure to climate change, biodiversity issues and protected areas would be an asset.
Additional required qualifications:
 Experience and skills in Knowledge Management;
 Oral and written fluency in English;

Ability to familiarize him/herself with complex tasks in a brief period of time and to work under minimal supervision and meet tight deadlines;
 Enjoy working in a dynamic and multicultural environment;
 Strong online researching skills;
 International mindset and a desire to change the world.
Desirable qualifications:
 Oral and written fluency in other UN official languages;
 Experience living in developing country and/or rural community contexts;
 Prior exposure to conservation and biodiversity related issues;
 Experience in Computer Science and working with databases.

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Internships with the UN are not remunerated and all the expenses connected with it must be borne by the intern or by the sponsoring institution or government;

There is no expectancy of employment at the end of the internship; and the UN accepts no responsibility for accidents and/or illness incurred during the intern’s stay;

The UN does not deal with immigration authorities in Canada and, therefore, the intern is responsible for obtaining any necessary visas on his/her own.

The intern will conduct him/herself at all times in a manner compatible with the responsibilities as a holder of a UN internship programme, and will not engage in any activity that is incompatible with the discharge of duties with the organization;

The intern will exercise the utmost discretion in all matters of official business of the organization;

The intern will not communicate at any time to any other person or authority external to the UN, any information known by reason of the internship, which has not been made public, except in the course of duties or by authorization of the UN; nor shall the intern at any time use such information to private advantage;

The intern shall keep confidential any and all unpublished information made known by the accepting office in the course of the internship and not publish any reports or papers on the basis of information obtained during the length of the programme, except upon the authorization of the UN.

The intern shall arrange for own transport to and from the UN;

The intern will provide a written notice in case of illness or other unavoidable circumstances which might prevent him/her from fulfilling his/her obligations;

The intern will prepare an exit report and an exit questionnaire and submit them to the Human Resource Management Service at the end of the assignment.
(N.B. You may be requested to supply documentary evidence, which supports the statements you have made in your application. Do not, however, send any document or evidence until you have been asked to do so by the Organization and, in any event, do not submit the original text of references or testimonials unless they have been obtained for the sole use of the Organization. Applications will not, as a general rule, be valid or be retained by the United Nations for more than six months from date of receipt.)


Please use the internship application form available online at: An electronic copy of the application form, along with a CV and cover letter, must be received by 15 January 2013. Please entitle the subject line of your e-mail "LifeWeb Internship Application". An endorsement letter from the Nominating/Sponsoring Institution must be received prior to the commencement of the internship.

Mr. Matthew Dias

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
413, rue St-Jacques - Suite 800
Montréal, Québec H2Y 1N9

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