Nadine & Virginia’s Internship at The United Nations Development Programme

By Nadine Ramos & Virginia “Ginny” Scherer

The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Global Programme on Nature for Development works to identify, showcase, and celebrate nature-based solutions to help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Nature for Development programme focuses on three main areas:

  1. The Equator Initiative
  2. The UN Biodiversity Lab;
  3. Learning for Nature and the Nature for Life Hub

We provide support for two different areas in the Nature for Development Programme, utilizing our previous experience and what we’ve learned from the program. Nadine is a program assistant for the Learning for Nature team, and Ginny is a program assistant for The Equator Initiative. We have the unique opportunity to have a long-term internship with the UNDP, as the program is a three-semester long engagement. This way, we can truly go deep into the work each team does, and ensure that the support we provide is more sustainable and effective.

As the program assistant of the Learning for Nature team, I provide support for the team on ad-hoc projects that range from social media content and research. I also helped in on-ground events like the NBSAP Accelerator Operational Launch. The Learning for Nature team also spearheads the organization of the 2023 Nature for Life Hub, and as a program assistant, I made the most of my communications background in helping with social media content creation, collaborating with the video production team and other online event logistics. It’s been a great opportunity to work with the UNDP Learning for Nature team, not only because some of them are graduates from the IPED program, but also because I am exposed to different ways of thinking, new and alternative approaches to content production and online engagement, and most importantly, learning more about nature and biodiversity. It’s also been very rewarding to be working with a team primarily composed of women, and I feel significant support not only for my efforts within the organization but also ensuring that I’m able to balance work and schoolwork.

The Equator Initiative (EI) brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local and indigenous sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As a programme assistant for the EI, I participate in different aspects of the Equator Prize and Equator Dialogues. In communications support, I had the opportunity to interview and write a photostory about a previous Equator Prize winner from Türkiye, as well as design graphics and layouts used in the 2023 Equator Prize Award Ceremony and EI social media posts. Currently, my team and I are reviewing applications for the upcoming 2024 cycle of the Equator Prize, which I will have the opportunity to participate in through its completion at the end of the year, including supporting communications with our applicant organizations and, eventually, our 10 winners, including interviews for further photostories, podcasts, social media campaigns, etc., as well as assisting in virtual networking and professional development events for past and current winning organizations. My time with the EI has been a rewarding experience as it has given me an opportunity to work with a program focused on environmental conservation, nature-based solutions, and recognition of some of the world’s most unique and innovative community-based and indigenous-led initiatives combating climate change and promoting sustainable development.