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

Location : Istanbul, TURKEY
Application Deadline :26-Sep-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :estimated 14 October 2019 – 13 March 2020
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months

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.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Closely aligned with IPBES areas of work and capacity building needs, the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) is network of networks that promote 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 uses a three-pillar approach and implements its activities through: i) Face-to-face capacity building support: Trialogues, which are multi-stakeholder dialogues focusing on specific policy questions at the national and regional levels. The Trialogues bring together the three BES-Net communities of science, policy and practice into a constructive multi-stakeholder dialogue; hence the name ‘Trialogue’; ii) National Ecosystem Assessments: BES-Net supports the development of capacity to conduct National Ecosystem Assessments (NEAs) in selected countries, complementing the global assessment being undertaken by IPBES and iii) an online platform for networking, which offers a rich database of scientific, indigenous and local knowledge; and a wide database of policymakers and practitioners working on different aspects of biodiversity and ecosystem services all over the world, as well as like-minded partner organization working on BES issues.
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 preparation for Regional and National Trialogues, to support knowledge management for the BES-Net web-portal and overall BES-Net communication and social media activities.

In recent decades, biodiversity finance tools and solutions have demonstrated their importance for achieving biodiversity goals and broader sustainable development objectives. Improved choice, design and implementation of effective, well-tailored finance solutions will strengthen countries’ chances of achieving national and global biodiversity targets.

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN – was developed to provide a comprehensive methodology for governments to: 1) review the existing policy context, 2) measure expenditure levels for biodiversity, 3) calculate future financial needs and 4) design strategic plans to deploy the right mix of finance solutions, tailored to the country context. The methodology is being implemented in 36 countries, with many now having reached the implementation stage. 

BIOFIN’s first phase (2012-2018) enabled full assessments and initial implementation of finance plan elements in target countries. Based on lessons learned, a new and comprehensive version of the BIOFIN Methodology was developed. Significant scaling up of finance solutions is required in all countries to address the biodiversity finance challenge. BIOFIN’s second phase will mainly focus on the implementation of prioritised finance solutions while also allowing additional countries to undertake the initial assessments and create the finance plan. See for further information.

The intern will play a key role in strengthening the cooperation between BES-Net and BIOFIN and learn how biodiversity finance methodologies and programming can support countries. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Manage the BES-Net web-portal, with a focus on the thematic and methodological areas of the web-portal, through: 

  • Support in updating the BES-Net web-portal by searching for and uploading new entries on events and job opportunities related to biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  • Support in updating the BES-Net knowledge library by uploading peer-reviewed scientific articles, grey literature, reports on best practices and experience learnt as well as videos and e-learning courses on given thematic areas;
  • Support the development of communication and knowledge management products for BES-Net; and 
  • Liaise with the BIOFIN team and identify relevant project news updates to be featured on the BES-Net web portal, e-newsletter and/or social media;
  • Support the organization of trialogues.

Support BIOFIN in communication and knowledge management activities

  • Develop guidance materials on financing solutions for biodiversity conservation for BIOFIN teams in different countries; 
  • Research case studies of nature-based finance solutions that can serve as examples for BIOFIN work;
  • Write stories and news articles on BIOFIN activities;
  • Support the BIOFIN Communication team by promoting and maintaining BIOFIN’s social media updated (e.g. Website / Twitter / Facebook page);
  • Support the organization of webinars;
  • Provide research for next BIOFIN publications;
  • Research, collect, analyse and present the work BIOFIN has been doing in its 35 core countries.


Functional competencies:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication, organizational and analytic skills;
  • A well-organized individual with the ability to multi-task;
  • A team player with the ability to work productively and effectively with others;
  • Excellent IT literacy and a good understanding of online communication tools;
  • The desire to work with and gain the confidence and respect of people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds;

Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards; 
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability; and
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

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; 
  • Knowledge or an understanding of monitoring and evaluation; 
  • Knowledge or an understanding of events organisation; 
  • Knowledge or experience in communication.

Language skills:

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

The intern will develop a good overview of global biodiversity financing practices 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.

Candidates who are selected must submit the following documents:

  • Official letter from the University confirming enrolment 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.
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