World Resources Institute (WRI)

Intern (Nature-based Solutions, Global Commission on Adaptation)

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Job Description

  World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: Climate Change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities. Internships at WRI provide opportunities for motivated, young professionals to learn from our experts and participate in engaging work at the intersection of environment and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all our programs and offices. We seek interns with diverse backgrounds and who are passionate about the environment to help us make a direct global impact. WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. Climate Resilience Practice Overview The decisions we make today could lead us toward a more climate resilient future, or they could undermine food, water, and energy security for decades to come. WRI’s Climate Resilience Practice (CRP, located in the Governance Center) seeks to incentivize and support actions that enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change – in a manner that promotes sustainability and gender and social equity. We do this with a focus on helping countries integrate, or mainstream, adaptation into their development and sector planning (including budgeting) and implementation. We also do this by helping countries understand whether, when, and where transformative approaches to adaptation may be needed to better manage the significant systemic adaptations that will be needed in some circumstances. CRP works with governments, funders, civil society, businesses and other policymakers to build resilience in a changing climate and convenes high-level partnerships, like the Global Commission on Adaptation, to accelerate action across the globe. We help decision-makers mainstream climate change risks across sectors and all levels of government to drive resilient growth, reduce vulnerability and avoid investments that unintentionally cause maladaptation. PREPdata offers open, accessible data and curated visualizations that enable anyone anywhere to analyze vulnerability and manage climate risks. Our Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative helps ensure that climate funds reach vulnerable communities by developing more transparent, accountable and inclusive finance decision-making processes. And in cities, we have worked alongside local officials, planners and neighborhood committees to build urban resilience to climate change, especially in poor, vulnerable communities. Global Commission on Adaptation Overview WRI through CRP co-manages the Global Commission on Adaptation. Composed of current and former heads of government and leaders from business, philanthropy and civil society, the Commission seeks to elevate the political visibility of adaptation with a strong focus on solutions. It demonstrates that adapting to climate change improves human well-being and results in better, more sustainable Economic Development and security for all. It makes the case for the importance of taking climate risks into account and radically changing the way we do development. And most importantly of all, it shows the importance of ensuring that adaptation action and support reaches the most vulnerable. Following its formal launch in October 2018 and delivery of the Flagship report at the UN Climate Summit in September 2019, outreach and coalition building have catalyzed an ongoing “Year of Action” during which Commissioners and partners inspire governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector and civil society to enhance adaptation commitments, mobilize finance, and accelerate action. The Commission—through Commissioner commitments and partnerships with others—is helping to drive a set of Action Tracks essential to jump-starting the needed transitions. Each of these Action Tracks focuses on a specific high-risk sector, including for example, Nature-Based Solutions, Cities, Food Security, Finance, and Locally Led Action. The Commission will champion this package of initiatives, to be presented at the Climate Adaptation Action Summit in The Netherlands in January 2021, and raise the level of ambition on adaptation in advance of COP26. Actions within each action track are expected to extend beyond the lifetime of the Commission and realize their goals in the next 5-10 years. Internship Summary The Global Commission on Adaptation’s Nature-based Solutions Intern will assist the Commission and Climate Resilience Practice in its work to incentivize and support actions that enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change and will contribute to the Commission’s Year of Action, with a focus on the Nature-based Solutions Action Track. The position will primarily focus on supporting an ongoing assessment of adaptation in nature-based solution platforms, as well as proactive and creative engagement support for the Track to foster partnerships and influence decision makers. The intern will join a team of highly motivated and experienced individuals, including members of WRI’s Senior Leadership and global experts to support the development and production of outputs and engagement during the “Year of Action”. The intern will learn on the job, and will gain experience with stakeholder engagement, science communication, qualitative research, and project and Event Management. Learning Outcomes and Responsibilities
  • You will gain in-depth knowledge of international, national and subnational adaptation planning and principles, key challenges and opportunities for nature-based solutions

Primary tasks include:
  • Provide research and engagement support to complete an assessment of Nature-based Solution platforms highlighting their relative adaptation outcomes and opportunities for further scaling up adaptation

  • Support in the planning, communications strategy, and management of one or more events hosted by the Global Commission on Adaptation’s Nature-based Solutions Action Track for late 2020

  • Help with the development of an engagement strategy for Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) to encourage greater involvement in the Action Track

  • You will have the opportunity to maximize your learning opportunities across WRI by participating in seminars and presentations offered by a wide range of programs, centers and initiatives

Internship Qualifications
  • Background in international development, climate change issues, and/or broader environmental issues

  • Strong interest in the Global Commission’s work on Climate Change Adaptation policies, challenges, and opportunities

  • Background and interest in Nature-based Solutions appreciated

  • Qualitative and quantitative research skills, with the ability to express complex concepts clearly and concisely; strong writing skills preferred

  • Proactive work style, dedicated, punctual, dependable, and a great teammate

  • Interest in engagement strategy development and building new programs

  • Confidence and independence to take initiative, with the awareness and judgement to seek help when needed

  • Exposure to online search tools, literature review, reference managers, and word processing and document processing tools

General Internship Requirements
  • Applicants must have personal health insurance coverage.

  • U.S. work authorization is required for this opportunity. WRI does not sponsor interns for visas.

Compensation This is a paid internship. Duration and Location This is a five-month, part-time Fall internship with flexible start and end dates from September 2020 to January 2021 based on the candidate’s availability and needs of the project. This is a remote-based internship with the option to work out of the Washington D.C. office once it reopens. WRI will provide a laptop for the duration of your internship. How to Apply Please submit cover letter with your resume. We may also request a writing sample during the interview process. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and Development Research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and Analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.
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