Press release

IISD interns soon to begin assignments that contribute to sustainability in developing countries

September 30, 2012

WINNIPEG—October 1, 2012—The International Institute for Sustainable Development's Young Leaders for a Sustainable Future will soon begin their assignments throughout the developing world—working in areas of climate change adaptation, community development, conservation, education, tourism and communications.

Ten young leaders will participate in international internships in Africa and Latin America, including Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Guyana, Kenya, Malawi, Panama and South Africa. One intern will be based in IISD's Winnipeg office.

Natalie Martin, from Montreal, just completed a master's degree in public health at Simon Fraser University. She will be based at the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

"I will be exploring the linkages between climate change and poverty and integrating these findings into climate change adaptation policies," she said, adding that little is known about how health is impacted by climate change in developing countries. "I am interested in this particular field of work and hope to build an international career in climate change and international development."

Calgary-based Jordan Flagel will work for the Iwokrama Research and Conservation Centre in Guyana, assisting with forest monitoring and the development of eco-friendly tourism activities. "Developing a sustainable tourism industry from the ground up is a unique opportunity," said Flagel, who recently completed a bachelor of arts degree in geography at the University of Calgary. "This is a rapidly developing region of the world and there isn't a strong tourism industry there at the moment. It is important that it is developed in a sustainable way."

Having recently graduated with a bachelor of environmental science at Simon Fraser University, Port Coquitlam's Braedon Cashion, is excited to work with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Panama. "My job will be to review climate policy research and reports from Latin America, and to share best practices with other regions, while developing polices for adaptation," Cashion said.

IISD chair Dan Gagnier said the internship program was vital to realizing goals for sustainable development. "Investing in our future is one of the most important things we can do to bring about the transformative changes we need to make for sustainable development. We are proud of the achievements of these young leaders and wish them well as they begin their six-month journey to advance goals that enable all people to live more sustainably."

Gagnier also thanked the internship program supporters who helped make the program a success over the past 14 years. Over 300 interns have taken part in the program since it began in 1998. A recent IISD survey indicates 78 per cent of past interns have careers in the field of sustainable development.
The YLSF interns are hosted by reputable international organizations, including UNEP, IUCN, Iwokrama International Rainforest Program, ICRAF, the Association for Progressive Communications, the Human Development Network (REDEH) and LEAD International.

The interns are recent graduates from Canadian universities and residents of various provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. They were successfully selected from 130 applicants.

The program is sponsored by Canadian International Development Agency and IISD.


Please contact Pauline Gerrard, IISD Training Coordinator for more information:
Phone: +1 (204) 958 7727 or email:, or
Nona Pelletier, IISD manager, public affairs: Phone +1 204 958-7740 Cell: +1 204 962-1303 or email


About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.