Local hire: Environmental Specialist

Manila, Philippines 🇵🇭

Background / General description:

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 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 $7 billion, and a growing pipeline of new investments under active development. The practice consists of some 275 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 GEF 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:
•    delivery of about 10 operations per year, amounting to about $200 million annually;
•    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 is located in the field, and about 45% of operations are managed and led from the field. The underpinning of this decentralization rests on four main 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.
EAP comprises of more than 20 countries, including China, several MICs, LICs, and fragile states (EAP has the second highest number of fragile states amongst all the Bank regions). The Region is characterized by generally rapid growth, both sophisticated and low capacity borrowers, and some highly dynamic sectors. At the same time, EAP countries are faced with weak governance environments. The Bank’s program in EAP is multi-faceted and has grown rapidly in recent years: lending in FY14 exceeded $7.5 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 CMUs.

Philippines Context

The Philippines’ portfolio consists of about 22 loan and grant-funded operations with total commitments of about $3 billion, and 70% of the portfolio mapped to the Sustainable Development Program across the energy, transport, urban development, agriculture and rural development, environment, and social development sectors. The portfolio is comprised mostly of Category B projects and includes a sizable number of LGU-led and Community Driven Development operations working with low capacity LGUs and communities. Some projects are Category A, and the pipeline has a potential for more Category A projects as the Bank deliberately moves towards fewer but larger operations. At the same time, the program is striving to promote sustainability, climate resilience and adaptive capacity as the country faces serious risk brought about by climate change and exacerbated by environmental degradation. In this context WB-funded programs and projects are often multi-sectoral, bringing together experts from various disciplines within the Bank as well as the government. To respond to these challenges, the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice is seeking to recruit an Environment Specialist with primary responsibilities to provide environmental safeguards 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.

Unit Context

EAP GEN2B unit comprises about 24 staff, of whom about 75% 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 GEN2A (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 environment safeguards function for the above-mentioned countries.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 3 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The World Bank Group (WBG) is seeking to recruit an Environmental Specialist to be based in the World Bank Office in Manila to provide technical, analytical, operational and business development leadership in the areas of environmental management, natural resources, climate change and green growth in EAP.
The Environmental Specialist will report to the ENR EAP GEN2B 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/he will 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:

• Environmental safeguards: Contribute to provide conceptual, operational and technical support on environmental safeguard under World Bank policies which includes: Participation as reviewer or leader of the preparation of selected environmental safeguards instruments and their documentation and supervising their implementation; Assist Sector Manager in the review and clearance of delegated Bank operations by confirming compliance with environmental safeguard policies, and ensuring the quality of environmental safeguard document; Prepare and review terms of reference for environmental assessments and advise client on the requirements of safeguard policies 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 Safeguard Framework;
• Task management of select pieces of analytical work and/or projects related to climate change; pollution management and natural resources.
• 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 (Ph D 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 environmental safeguard work, analytical work and operations in the environment sector;
• 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.

Competencies (Level GF, Environmental Specialist)

Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena: Applies technical knowledge on the job and provides inputs to country and sector strategies. Interacts with clients on technical level.

Policy Dialogue Skills: Ability to respond to requests regarding policy issues in their respective discipline and participate in policy discussions with government and non-government partners. Integrative skills – ability to present issues in their discipline for team formulation of cross-sectoral approaches to lending and non-lending operations.

Environmental Economics: Very good understanding of relevant economic concepts related to environmental themes, with limited experience.

Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions: Basic understanding of environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.

Environmental Sciences: Basic experience applying knowledge (soil science; water; ecosystems; conservation; agriculture concerns, etc.) to policy-related decisions and advice.

Natural Resources Management: Focused experience in natural resources management, including specialized experience in one thematic area, with ability to apply this knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.

Environmental Safeguards: Knowledge of safeguards concepts, especially for environmental impacts, and willingness to master their application.

Biodiversity: Limited experience in field application of activities in at least one area (biology and biological systems; species preservation and sustainability; protection policies; conservation management; etc.), with ability to apply knowledge to projects and analytical work.  

Environment / Climate / Carbon Finance: Basic knowledge of project financing alternatives; ability to provide inputs to develop solutions to financing in the environment sector.

Project Design for Impact and Sustainability – IL: Contributes to the design of projects and programs, based on an understanding of the country and sector context.  

Sector Dialogue – IL: Contributes to dialogues with the client on familiar topics, with a narrow scope, based on a solid understanding of the sector.  

Operational Project Management: Demonstrates basic knowledge and understanding of project management tools & methodologies, as well as of Bank instruments and processes related to project preparation & implementation, resource management, and stakeholder communications.

Operational Policies Application to the Project Cycle (fiduciary, disbursement, safeguard and GAC policies) – IL: Possesses a basic understanding of procurement and disbursement policies; knows who to involve in problem resolution.  

Knowledge of Relevant Operational Policy and Associated Good Practices – DPL: Has a basic understanding of the concepts of development policy lending and willingness to participate in DPL operations and lending.

Strategic and Technical Analyses for Country/Sector Issues: Contributes to the formulation and implementation of complex analytical work and policy papers, leveraging relevant analytical tools and a grasp of issues surrounding policy and sector reform.   

Client Orientation: Demonstrates diplomacy, tact and sensitivity in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides inputs to develop evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.  

Drive for Results: Provides inputs to efforts to identify and acquire resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and contributes to solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.  

Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion: Participates in teams to achieve outcomes, provides inputs to team solutions and demonstrates good inter-personal skills for teamwork, demonstrating respect for different points of view.  

Knowledge, Learning and Communication: Contributes to sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.  

Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making: Under direction of senior staff, gathers inputs, contributes to risk assessments, and provides information relevant to assessment of decisions affecting internal and external stakeholders