Local recruitment: Environmental Specialist

The World Bank
Manila, Philippines
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally. 

The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


Sustainable environment and natural resources management (ENRM) is at the heart of the WBG's poverty agenda. Biodiversity and natural resources constitute the social safety net of the poor, representing a food bank and often their only source of livelihood. Sustainable ENRM promotes a green, clean, and resilient world where natural resources–from forests to fisheries,freshwater, oceans, coastal zones and ecosystems–are managed to support livelihoods and strong economies. Sustainable ENRM builds a world better prepared for shocks and global challenges, helping countries limit their exposure to resource scarcity, more-volatile weather patterns, and the long-term consequences of climate change. 

The Environment & Natural Resources (ENR) Global Practice (GP) has been set-up to deliver on the opportunities, benefits and outcomes offered by enhanced management of the environment and natural resources. The ENR GP has close to 300 operations under management, representing close to $8 billion, and a growing pipeline of new investments under active development. The practice consists of some 320 staff across the world plus numerous other staff in other Practices and CCSAs that are professionally
associated with it. 

The Environment & Natural Resources Global Practice has three broad and distinct functions: 

1. Provides clients with lending and non-lending services aimed to support the GP’s three core business lines, namely: (i) Forests, Watersheds and Sustainable Landscapes; (ii) Marine, Coastal and Aquatic Resources; and (iii) Pollution Management and Environmental Health. The GP’s activities also include a focus on Clean and Resilient Growth through its work on environmental economics and support to institutional development. 

2. Supports effective environmental risk management and sustainability by managing risk at the project level and creating opportunities to advance sustainable development, in part through the implementation of the Bank’s environmental policies.

3. Works closely with other sectors, including by leveraging grant financing, to mainstream environmental considerations into their policies, strategies, and operations.

ENRM activities in East Asia and the Pacific accounts for a substantial part of the ENR Global Practice’s business:

• an active dialogue on regional issues, such as climate change, coastal and marine economies, improving governance
of natural resources, watershed management, pollution management, and wealth accounting and valuation of ecosystem services;
• about 61 active projects in the portfolio, amounting to around $1.8 billion; 

A key characteristic of the Bank program in the region is a high level of decentralization. In FY14, 60% of staff was based in the field, and about 45% of operations are managed and led from the field. The underpinning of this decentralization rests on four pillars:

• better integration at the field level to provide greater synergies and integrated responses;
• a decentralized management structure supported by regional and global knowledge;  
• provision of faster responses and management decisions to our clients; and
• the need to reposition ourselves in the region given the large urbanization and decentralization trend in almost all countries, the need to incorporate better environment dimensions of the fast growth rates and huge demand for infrastructure, and the need to better deal with governance issues and growing income disparities between urban centers and rural areas and lagging regions.

Regional Context 

The East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Region presents a dramatic illustration of the global dynamics, opportunities and risks of the 21st century. After making the fastest progress in growth and poverty reduction of any region around the world in the last fifteen years, some countries in the region–such as Mongolia–are poised to become middle-income, and some are preparing to join the small group of high-income countries. Such a rapid transformation is leading to the largest shift in rural-to-urban population in human history, generating rising inequality within and across countries, leaving individuals and regions behind in the dash for prosperity.     

Meanwhile, the uncertainty in the advanced economies clouds the prospects for countries across the region which are being forced to adjust to changed growth and development prospects while addressing evolving impacts on macroeconomic stability, employment and poverty.

The Bank's program in EAP is multi-faceted and has grown rapidly in recent years: lending in FY18 exceeded $7.0 billion; the portfolio consists of nearly 88 operations for about $6.5 billion; and the TF program is significant (with a portfolio of about $1.2 billion).  EAP consists of over 1000 staff with 25% in Washington and 75% based in the country offices in the six Country Management Units (CMUs).

Philippines Context 

The Philippines is one of the most dynamic economies in the East Asia and the Pacific region. With increasing urbanization, a growing middle-income class, and a large and young population, the Philippines’ economic dynamism is rooted in strong consumer demand supported by improving real incomes and robust remittances. Business activities are buoyant with notable performance in the services sector including the Business Process Outsourcing, real estate, and finance and insurance

As of end of March 2018, the Bank's active portfolio in the Philippines consists of 13 operations financed by IBRD loans, GEF grants, and recipient-executed grants with total net commitment of US$3.2 billion (including one CAT-DDO operation of US$500 million). The Philippines trust fund portfolio consists of 64 active grants with total commitment of US$198.4 million, of which 17.7 percent are Bank executed.

Unit Context

EAP GENE2 unit comprises about 30 staff, of whom about 70% are based in Country Offices in East Asia and the Pacific. The rest of the team is based in Washington DC. All report to a Practice Manager based in DC.  The unit works closely with GENE1 (China,Indonesia and the Pacific Island Countries) and manages a full spectrum of environment, climate change, green growth and natural resource lending and non-lending tasks, as well as the environmental safeguards and standards function for the above-mentioned countries.

The ENR GP is seeking to recruit an Environment Specialist with primary responsibilities to provide environmental safeguards and standards support to operations, and with the opportunity to also lead policy dialogue, analytical work and operation on a broad range of environment, natural resources management and climate change issues in the Philippines program.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The Environmental Specialist will report to the ENR EAP GENE2 Practice Manager. The Environmental Specialist will form an integral part of Manila-based team in the Philippines and will contribute to provide leadership for the Bank’s environment program in the country. S/he will also be responsible, working with environmental specialist colleagues based in Manila and in Washington DC, for building long-term business relationships with national and local government stakeholders, including development partners and NGOs/civil society, through strategic communications and outreach activities. Furthermore, s/hewill support efforts in knowledge management to ensure best practices and lessons learned are reflected in our policy and operational advice to the Government of the Philippines. 

The Environment Specialist will have overall responsibility for four key areas: 

• Task management of select pieces of analytical work and/or projects related to climate change; pollution management and natural resources. Particularly, the initial work program is expected to heavily feature playing a key role within the task team managing climate change related technical assistance to the Government of the Philippines, both on strengthening climate resilience planning and budgeting, and policy development for low carbon development. Responsibilities are expected to include: (i) coordination with government counterparts and management of consultants, as the local face of the task team; (ii) leading on selected parts of the technical work, in coordination with the rest of the task team; and (iii) supporting missions, contributing to Aide Memoires, and progress reports. 

• Environmental safeguards and standards: contribute to provide conceptual, operational and technical support on environmental safeguards and standards under World Bank policies (Environmental and Social Framework, ESF) which includes: participation as reviewer or leader of the preparation of projects requiring environmental safeguards and standards instruments and their documentation and supervising their implementation; assist the Practice Manager in the review and clearance of safeguards requirements of Bank operations by confirming compliance with environmental safeguard policies (ESF), and ensuring the quality of environmental safeguards and standards documents; conduct environmental due diligence of projects as required under the ESF; prepare and review terms of reference for environmental assessments and advise client on the requirements of safeguard policies (ESF) to guide them on delivering quality environmental safeguards project documentation and supporting analysis.

• Engagements and dialogue with government counterparts, other development partners and civil society/NGOs and, in this context, contributing to the development/updating and implementation of the Bank’s environmental engagement strategy and environmental engagement priorities for the Philippines, including the roll-out of the new Environmental & Social Framework.  This would include scope for developing new business opportunities in coordination with the GENE2 team.

• Collaborate with other Global Practices and contribute to development and implementation of a multi-sectoral World Bank portfolio in the Philippines.

Selection Criteria

It is expected that the successful candidate will meet the following selection criteria:

• Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in environmental economics, environmental science/engineering or other relevant discipline; 

• A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in the environment sector leading climate-related analytical work, operations in the environment sector, environmental safeguards work, and in working with the Philippine government; 

• Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, forest management, pollution management and environmental sector policy; 

• Ability to identify long-range goals and objectives, develop strategic approaches, and conceptualize a multi-year plan to operationalize these strategies; 

• Demonstrated ability to effectively coordinate activities involving multiple disciplines and organizational units, as well as to maintain high service standards under pressure, meet deadlines, and accommodate simultaneous demands from various sources; 

• Skill at managing client and partner engagements; and 

• Excellent oral and written communications skills in English. 

In addition to the above, the successful candidate much demonstrate the following competencies:

• Lead and Innovate - Develops innovative solutions
• Deliver Results for Clients - Proactively addresses clients' stated and unstated needs
• Collaborate within Teams and Across Boundaries - Collaborates across boundaries, gives own prespective and willingly recieves diverse prespectives.
• Create, Apply and Share knowledge - Applies knowledge across GPs and WBG to strengthen soloutions for internal and/or external clients
• Make Smart decisions - Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.