Intern - Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, EARD - 2201

Job Vacancy | Friday, July 16, 2021

"Mainstreaming Natural Capital Accounting in development planning and investment decisions."

The ADB Intern will conduct a study on the methods used for natural capital accounting and gross ecosystem product (GEP) with a landscape approach and at a river basin scale. The study is aimed at gathering regional and international knowledge to (a) offer technical and policy input for regional ecological planning; (b) provide input to ADB project appraisal; and (c) propose suitable indicators for project design and monitoring of project results.

Key study aspects comprise:
(i) Application of GEP methodology developed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the Yangtze and Yellow river basins to assess the aggregated value of ecosystem goods and services: the Intern will collect lessons from the case studies piloted in the river basins by the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning (CAEP), the Ministry of Ecology and the Environment and ADB.

(ii) Comparison of the GEP vis a vis the United Nation’s System of Environmental-Economic Accounting – Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) frameworks to develop suitable indicators for project design use: the intern will analyze the natural capital accounting methods applied under the GEP and SEEA EA respectively.

(iii) Analysis of relevant initiatives in the region to mainstream the value of natural capital accounting in development planning and national accounting systems: the intern will examine project examples and, in particular, the World Bank’s Wealth Accounting and the Value of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) application in the Southeast Asia region (i.e., the Philippines and Cambodia).

(iv) Collection of best practices to identify the gaps of ecosystem-based policies and programs in the region to help improve decision-making and planning.

(v) Assessment of application of the GEP and natural capital accounting methodologies in ADB project preparation and processing procedures based on the aforementioned tasks: The Intern will propose recommendations on how the GEP and natural capital accounting can be mainstreamed into ADB business process including a list of project indicators.

Data Sources: The study will be conducted through a desk-based literature review and a comprehensive analysis of academic and project-based resources. The intern will examine and compare different sources of data and information from government databases, international agencies (ADB, World Bank) technical reports, regional technical assistance and investment projects. The Intern will be expected to interact frequently with ADB staff both for technical issue as well as for learning about ADB business processes and how natural capital accounting and GEP principles could be mainstreamed across ADB.

• Duration: 8 weeks (with a possibility of extension)
• Timing: January 2022

4. LOCATION: ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines (or virtually, based on COVID-19 policies/restrictions)

The assignment is aligned with ADB Strategy 2030’s priorities and will result in:

1. Improved knowledge of trends concerning regional and international policies and programs on natural capital accounting and GEP for decision-making, and ADB’s development and application of such principles.

2. Knowledge sharing: the intern will compile the results in a policy brief to be presented to EARD and other regional departments. The brief will present key findings, trends and recommendations to inform ADB projects and environmental policies (i.e., on eco-compensation, payment for ecosystem services, ecosystem-based approaches and project design).


Currently enrolled in a Masters or PhD program in environmental science, environmental economics, international development or related field. Proficiency in verbal and demonstrated excellent written English skill are required.

Knowledge of PRC institutions and practices and regional policies in the Asia-Pacific is a distinct advantage. Research experience in and familiarity with spatial resolution and/or biophysical landscape analysis to map ecosystem services is an advantage. The intern should also have well-developed research skills, advanced writing and communication skills, the ability to manage data sources and present findings in a concise and user-friendly manner.

Upload the following documents in the “Attachments” section of your application:
1. Curriculum vitae (CV)
2. Proof of enrollment to a Masters or PhD program. Inclusive dates should confirm that you will be enrolled during the intended period of assignment.
3. Essay in MS WORD or PDF document, maximum of 1500 words per question. (Please see essay questions below)

(1) Describe one example of your experience that demonstrated your interest in working in ADB.
(2) Highlight your qualifications that will help accomplish this internship assignment (e.g., coursework, research, work experience, etc.).