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Minerals and Metals Specialist | UNEP Young Talent Pipeline


  • Organization: UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: Volunteer - International Youth - International recruited Volunteer
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Renewable Energy sector
  • Closing Date: Closed


Mission and objectives

Since its inception in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been the global authority that sets the 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 mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP works through its divisions as well as regional, liaison and out-posted offices and a growing network of collaborating centres of excellence.


UNEP's Economy and Industry Division helps economic decision-makers change the business environment by creating platforms for dialogue and cooperation, devising innovative policy options, running pilot projects, and using market forces to bring about change. The Division has three branches: Chemicals and Health; Energy and Climate, and Resources and Markets.

Mining and the green energy transition

The ‘green energy transition’ is an important topic as we endeavor to achieve the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement. A shift in our energy source would significantly reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions while keeping the quality of life of citizens. The mining of critical minerals and metals are, however, an important element to consider in this transition. While experts agree that the transition to renewables would be the best direction for people and the planet, it is important to critically analyze the value chains of the green energy transition and ensure that sustainability, human rights, and circularity principles are embedded in the extraction, production, use, and end of life of these minerals and metals.

The United Nations has played an important role in the development of key mineral governance initiatives that have strengthened human rights and reduced conflict, reduced environmental impacts, fostered cooperation and capacity building, and improved the sustainability of artisanal and small-scale mining. Click the links to find out more about UNEP’s work on mining and energy!

As a part of the Mining and Energy Team, the UNV will work under the overall direction of the Chief of the Resources and Markets Branch and day to day with the responsible programme officer, supporting UNEP’s efforts to transform the minerals and metals sector and to contribute towards the 1.5° goal of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and to sustainable development more broadly. The volunteer will work with the government and civil society in inspiring the youth and communities to be more aware of the importance of mining to sustainable energy transition and energy access.

Task description

As a part of the Mining and Energy Team of the Industry and Economy Division, and directly under the Resources and Markets branch, the international UNV will collaborate with the head of the Consumption and Production Unit and colleagues at the Energy and Climate Branch to engage the youth and civil society on the issue of sustainable management of critical minerals and metals within the context of the sustainable energy transition.

Specifically, the International UNV will undertake the following tasks:

  • Engage with stakeholders, including businesses, finance, governments, and civil society (including key youth groups) in the implementation of the UNEP’s work on minerals and metals.
  • Target youth voices to create awareness of the green energy transition and the important considerations of special groups (indigenous peoples, women) on this topic.
  • Work closely with colleagues to critically analyse value chains linked to the sustainable energy transition [renewable energy technologies], assess their impacts and implications to communities, and identify opportunities to reduce overall demand of critical minerals and metals through youth and community action.
  • Use citizen input and combine it with expert knowledge/ technical expertise to support/and or initiate relevant research that would deepen global of understanding of available solutions and technologies about mining and the green energy transition.
  • Help plan and organize meetings and workshops, preparing background information, suggesting discussion topics, and identifying resource speakers.
  • Support outreach and communication activities targeted to the youth on UNEP’s work on minerals and metals.

Results/Expected Outputs

  • Provided substantive input to programme development addressing sustainability in the mining sector, including linkages with the green energy transition, principles, and best practices on responsible mining as well as circularity in the mining sector.
  • Undertook projects and assignments that contribute to the successful implementation of the programme of work.
  • Fully acquainted with UNEP’s approach to sustainable value chain, sustainable consump-tion and production, and circularity to support implementation of projects in developing countries, also working with the private sector.
  • Contributed to technical delivery of related project activities.
  • Supported outreach and communication activities to inform and connect stakeholders and build partnership network.

Eligibility criteria


From 27 years of age


Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.


Required experience

3 years of experience in relevant fields; of which at least two years in geosciences or in the energy sector.

  • Experience on mining or renewable energy projects is desirable.
  • Experience in supporting stakeholder engagement, outreach, and communication activities is desirable.
  • Reliable and efficient; Able organize oneself and coordinate one’s work.
  • Can handle change, is able to adapt in a fast-paced environment.
  • Able to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Problem-solving and learning mindset, willing to listen, and is patient with people.

Area(s) of expertise

Energy and environment

Driving license



English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in geology, metallurgical engineering, energy engineering, environmental science, or related disciplines.

Competencies and values

  • Professionalism: Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make conclusions and rec-ommendations; shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Planning and organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly in-terprets messages from others and responds appropriately; proven interpersonal skills; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing in-formation and keeping people informed; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military person-nel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse back-grounds; ability to maintain composure and remain helpful towards the staff, but objective, without showing personal interest; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups.
  • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity, and self-reliance; and commitment towards the UN core values.
This vacancy is now closed.
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