Internship with the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) and with the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net)

Location : Istanbul, TURKEY
Application Deadline :31-May-17 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :estimated June - December 2017 (flexible)
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months


Closely aligned with IPBES areas of work and capacity building needs, the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network  (BES-Net) is a capacity building network of networks that promotes dialogue between science, policy and practice for more effective management of biodiversity and ecosystems, contributing to long-term human well-being and sustainable development. 

BES-Net focuses on a number of thematic and methodological issues at the nexus of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) and climate change, such as Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (EbA) and Resilience. BES-Net also addresses a number of other BES issues that have important co-benefits for climate change and sustainable development, such as Land Degradation and Restoration, Pollination and Food Production or Indigenous and Local Knowledge.

The network is supported by face-to-face capacity building activities (the BES-Net “trialogues”), a matchmaking facility, and a cutting-edge web portal, all components being mutually reinforcing. 
As a signature product of UNDP’s work in biodiversity and ecosystems, BES-Net harnesses its capacity building expertise at the country-level, capitalizes on the accumulated knowledge of best practices and challenges in the field, and brings practitioners into the science-policy arena.
In implementing its mandate, BES-Net is following an inclusive approach and collaborating with various partners.

The purpose of this internship is to assist the BES-Net team in organising the first BES-Net Trialogue, to support knowledge management for the BES-Net web-portal and overall BES-Net communication activities.

There are currently 30 countries globally participating in BIOFIN. The project, which began in 2012 and continues through 2018, is coordinated by the UNDP through a global team supporting country implementation and the continuous improvement of the BIOFIN methodology. 
The global team works with interdisciplinary national teams, customising the methodology to the national context in each country. At the national level, BIOFIN works under the leadership of ministries of finance (treasury), economy, planning and environment to bring together a core group of national stakeholders, including the private sector, to rethink the most suitable fi-nance modalities for biodiversity. Activities are implemented through in-depth consultation with a strong focus on capacity development. 

Partnerships are another important feature of the BIOFIN methodology in each country, in particular with related initiatives such as WAVES, TEEB, PEI, UN-REDD, GIZ ValuES and relevant conservation fi¬nance projects including those under the UNDP-GEF portfolio. At the regional and global level, BIOFIN enables participating countries to exchange experiences through a variety of South-South cooperation mechanisms such as regional and global workshops, the BIOFIN website, dedicated webinars and other platforms.

The intern will play a key role in strengthening the cooperation between BES-Net and BIOFIN, and in particular on the moderation of the Biodiversity Finance module of the BES-Net web-portal and on the creation of new knowledge and policy-relevant products in this area of work. The intern may also be asked to explore other areas of collaboration of the UNDP GEF and of the UNDP portfolio in the region with BES-Net.

Duties and Responsibilities

Assist with the organisation of the first Trialogue, in collaboration with the UNDP Regional Office and Bureau and relevant UNDP country Offices, through:

  • Becoming familiar with the BES-Net project;
  • Being involved in the logistics of the event and liaising with partners;
  • Managing the web-pages of the website supporting the organisation and communication around the first event including for online consultation on the background documents for the event.

Manage the BES-Net web-portal, with a focus on Biodiversity Finance, through: 

  • Support to the moderation of the BES-Net web-portal, and in particular its Biodiversity Finance module: suggestions, requests and feedback from users, questions to experts, forum discussion, etc. as well as the BES-Net social media accounts.
  • Undertake research to constantly update the content of the portal with new knowledge products and experts in other BES-Net thematic areas;
  • Liaising with the BIOFIN team on relevant issues.

Support BES-Net and BIOFIN communication activities

  • Support the communication activities of BES-Net through providing support to the management of its contacts database, newsletters and social media accounts.
  • Support the development of communication and knowledge management products and develop summary reports for BIOFIN.  


  • Excellent verbal and written communication, organizational and analytic skills;
  • A well-organized individual with the ability to multi-task;
  • A team player with ability to work productively and effectively with others;
  • Excellent IT literacy and a good understanding of online communication tools;
  • Desire to work with and gain the confidence and respect of people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the UNDP Statement of Purpose.


Required Skills and Experience

Applicants to the UNDP internship programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
  • Have graduated with a university degree in fields such as Biology, Geography, Economics, Environmental Economics, Finance, Business Administration, Communication, ICT or other related fields, and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation.


  • Previous related work experience in a national or an international entity would be an asset, but is not required.
  • Knowledge of website content management, online communication, social media, networking and collaboration tools; and /or
  • Knowledge or an understanding of monitoring and evaluation; and/or
  • Knowledge or an understanding of events organisation; and /or
  • Knowledge or experience in communication.

Language skills:

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Russian highly desirable 
  • Spanish, Portuguese or French language knowledge is an asset.


  • The intern will develop a good overview of global biodiversity financing practises and a basic understanding of UNDP project management, networking and communication concepts. 

Financial Issues:

Internships within the UN system are unpaid and subject to conditions the applicant must get familiar with prior to signing his/her internship agreement.

The costs associated with the internship must be borne by the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or by the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his or her own arrangements for travel, accommodation etc.

Application procedure:

The application should contain:

  • Brief Cover Letter (in English) stating interest in and qualifications for the post;
  • Current and complete CV in English;

Please group all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document.

Candidates who are selected must submit the following documents:

  • Official letter from the University confirming enrollment in a graduate-level degree programme;
  • Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out. Selected intern must have medical and life insurance.
  • UNDP only accepts interns for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months.
  • UNDP accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness or death incurred during the internship.

Interns are not staff members and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity.
It is important to note that interns are responsible to arrange for their own visa and residence documents, and need to plan for these well in advance.

Subsequent Employment:
The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNDP but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship.
More information available at:

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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