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Nature-based Solution Programme Officer | UNEP Young Talent Pipeline


  • Organization: UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: Volunteer - International Youth - International recruited Volunteer
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Water Resource Management
    • Sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources
    • Grant writing
    • Natural Resource Management
  • 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 Ecosystems Division supports countries in conserving, restoring, and sustainably managing their terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, the biodiversity they contain, and the products and services they provide for human well-being and prosperity. It addresses the environmental causes and consequences of disasters and conflicts. It helps countries reduce pollution from land-based activities, increase resilience to climate change and reflect linkages between poverty and the environment in their development planning. It works through five main branches: Biodiversity and Land, Disasters, and Conflicts, Nature for Climate, Marine, and Freshwater, and Ecosystem Integration.

This position is based in the Biodiversity, People and Landscapes Unit, within the Biodiversity and Land Branch, Ecosystems Division, but will work across all branches within the Division to promote the uptake, development, scaling of nature-based solutions that can contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address a myriad of other human development objectives such as socio-economic upliftment, improved health, food, and water security.

Task description

Under the supervision of the Chief, Biodiversity, People and Landscapes Unit (BPL), The Volunteer will provide the following duties:

  • To work across the Ecosystems Division, as well as with the UNEP regional Offices and with the Communications and Science Divisions as needed, to identify and seek funding for suitable nature-based solutions that address a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. You will be skilled at collaborating across teams, at proposal development and able to focus on the bigger picture.
  • Coordinate: Develop internal principles for what best practice NbS is for UNEP’s Ecosystem Division, working with other divisions and regional offices,
  • Assess: Undertake an analysis of a representative sample of UNEP implemented NbS projects across marine and coastal, freshwater, terrestrial, climate and disas-ters and recommend how our work on NbS can be harmonised and create greater impact. s of the range of NbS
  • Implement: Design a NbS project based upon the developed best practice princi-ples and identify key donors to approach for funding • Support: Work with others across the organisation to support the understanding and uptake of the UN NbS definition and implementation of associated projects.

Results/Expected Outputs 

  • Co-developed a programme on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) working with relevant stakeholders to identify suitable NbS interventions for terrestrial and marine eco-systems, looking at the full range of societal challenges including climate, water security, food security, disaster risk reduction and socio-economic development and provided technical support in the implementation of these projects.
  • Developed at least one funding proposal for an NbS projects. 
  • Analyzed UNEP’s current NbS projects and identified gaps in their implementation and opportunities for synergies.
  • Researched emerging themes and developments in NbS that can be applied in UNEP interventions. 
  • Relevant policy and communications interventions that promote and emphasise the value of NbS.
  • Supported UNEP NbS co-leads, Member States and Stakeholders in UNEP regional and global consultations on NbS. 
  • Supported the preparation of knowledge products, such as reports.

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 project management and development, of which at least 2 years of work experience working in Nature-based Solution interventions is mandatory.

  • Experience with writing projects and grant proposals is desirable
  • Experience on the development of policy and advocacy briefs and materials is desirable
  • Experience in capacity building is desirable
  • Experience with working with multi-cultural teams would be desirable
  • Experience with coordination in an international organisation would be desirable
  • Execution: reliability and efficiency; ability to self organize and coordinate work
  • Mindset: creativity, enthusiastic, and willing to learn more, with a problem-solving mindset
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to communicate and convince many diverse audiences, and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of various actors. - Autonomy: the ability to handle complexity and evolve in a fast-paced environment and take impactful initiatives

Area(s) of expertise

Development programmes, Natural and life sciences

Driving license



English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in environmental sciences or relevant social sciences (including political science, development studies)

Competencies and values

  • Professionalism: Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make conclusions and recommendations; 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, ar-ticulate 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.