Environmental Specialist

The World Bank

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

Job #:req21116
Organization:World Bank
Term Duration: 3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type:International Recruitment
Location:Washington, DC,United States
Required Language(s):English
Preferred Language(s):
Closing Date:2/25/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org


The WBG serves 30 client countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LCR). Clients range from large rapidly growing middle and upper-middle income clients to IDA countries, to small Caribbean states, and to one fragile state. Despite immense resources and dynamic societies, deep inequalities persist in most LCR countries, with nearly a quarter of the Region’s people living in poverty. The region is extremely exposed and vulnerable to many natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods that can ravage entire regions, and devastating hurricanes.  It is also among the most vulnerable due to high population density in the areas where these disasters strike and the need for better risk management practices.


The sustainable management of the environment and natural resources is vital for economic growth and human wellbeing. When managed well, renewable natural resources, watersheds, productive landscapes, and seascapes can provide the foundation for sustained inclusive growth, food security and poverty reduction. For more information: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/environment

To advance this agenda, the Environment Natural Resources & Blue Economy Global Practice (ENB GP)  has five key business lines consisting of lending and non-lending services in (1) Forests, Watersheds and Sustainable Landscapes (Green Business line); (2) Marine, Coastal, Aquatic Resources and Ocean Health (Blue Economy Business line); (3) Pollution Management and Environmental Health (Pollution Management Business line); (4) Environmental Economics, Policies and Institutions Business line, and (5) Environmental Risk Management Business line:delivery of effective environmental risk management and sustainability by managing risk at the project level and creating opportunities to advance sustainable development. This includes provision of high-quality and timely services to investment projects across the Bank, including those under the previous safeguard policies and the effective implementation of the Environment and Social Framework (ESF) that has been in effect for all new investment projects since October 1, 2018.

The ESF responds to new and varied development demands and challenges that have arisen over time. It brings the World Bank’s environmental and social (E&S) protections into closer harmony with those of other development institutions, and makes important advances in areas such as transparency, non-discrimination, social inclusion, public participation, and accountability – including expanded roles for grievance redress mechanisms. The framework helps to ensure social inclusion, and explicitly references human rights in the overarching vision statement. The ESF is made up of the World Bank’s vision for sustainable development, the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy for Investment Project Financing, and ten Environmental and Social Standards (ESS). These set out the mandatory requirements for the World Bank, in relation to the projects it supports through Investment Project Financing (IPF), and for Borrowers.

The activities of staff working on environmental safeguards/environmental risk management within the ENB GP include leading or contributing to analytical work and policy dialogue, as well as supporting lending operations and building client capacity across all sectors in areas related to environmental sustainability, environmental risk and impact assessment and management, pollution prevention, control and management, resource efficiency, occupational and community health and safety, biodiversity conservation, stakeholder engagement, among other issues. 


The Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Unit for LCR (SLCEN) comprises around 50 staff, with half based in Country Offices and the remainder based in Washington DC. Close to half of these staff work on environmental safeguards and environmental risk management, with the remainder working primarily on lending and knowledge products.  The skills and expertise of these staff include: economics, pollution management, forestry, fisheries management, landscapes management, watershed management, and natural areas protection.


* As the Environmental Specialist, contribute to the preparation of lending operations during project identification, preparation, and appraisal stages, and ensure that environmental issues are addressed early in the process by undertaking careful environmental analysis related to Bank environmental safeguard policy and/or ESF issues and associated information disclosure and public consultations/stakeholder engagement.

* Advise Task Teams on the interpretation and application of the ESF.

* Supervise Bank approved projects under implementation in terms of project specific EHS requirements and performance (i.e., project implementation stage).

* Provide advice to client and counterpart organizations and project teams, in coordination with the assigned social specialist, with regard to the preparation of environmental, social, health and safety assessments, including regional, strategic and cumulative assessments; environmental and social management frameworks and plans, including plans for monitoring, reporting and evaluation; stakeholder engagement plans and strategies, and grievance management systems; labor management procedures; and other specific plans and procedures as required by applicable Bank policies (for example, on issues such as community health and safety, dam or infrastructure safety, pest management, pollution prevention and control, biodiversity conservation and management, ecosystem services, occupational health and safety, emergency planning and management, cultural heritage, etc.)  

* Provide guidance and capacity support to borrowers in the preparation of relevant project cycle documentation, including by assisting borrowers in drafting Terms of Reference (TORs) for the preparation of environmental safeguard and ESF assessment, planning and management instruments; guiding the client in completing the assessment and planning process; and supervising their implementation, including review of monitoring reports and follow-up.

* Advise and support clients in ensuring necessary management plans and measures are appropriately reflected in works bidding and contract documents where applicable, and in developing and implementing appropriate supervision and monitoring arrangements for the necessary E&S plans and measures. 

* Carry out project supervision of environmental aspects on behalf of the Bank, including site visits (as permitted under WBG travel guidance), review of monitoring reports, discussions with clients and stakeholders, and building of effective working relationships with the borrower/project implementation agency to ensure proper understanding and implementation of the policies.  Guide the borrower/implementing agency to apply relevant E&S management plans and procedures effectively.

* Working closely with the SLCEN Caribbean ESF CMU Coordinator and ensure the quality of client project documentation before submission to relevant accountable decision makers, including Environmental and Social Practice Managers and (where applicable) the Regional Standards Adviser (RSA).

* Provide timely input, as applicable, to Bank project documents related to environmental aspects, including Integrated Safeguard Data Sheets and/or Environmental and Social Review Summaries, and EHS sections of project documents such as Project Concept Notes, Project Information Documents, Project Appraisal Documents, Aide Memoires, and Implementation Status Reports.

* Complete documentation requirements in the Bank’s risk management databases including the Tracking Environmental and Social Performance (TESPSG) system (for projects falling under safeguards) and the ESMS system (for projects falling under the ESF).

* Identify opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and policies in investment operations to promote environmental sustainability, positive environmental impacts (benefits) and enhance local capacities for implementing sound environmental management practices.

* Perform other activities related to assigned projects as needed, such as provide technical input/guidance on specific issues, provide guidance or training to the borrower related to environmental management, or assist in the environmental aspects of project restructuring or additional financing.

* Demonstrate leadership in proactively identifying needs for strengthening of borrower capacity or systems on environmental, health and safety management aspects, and initiating efforts aimed at strengthening that capacity.Tailor and implement training and other capacity building activities to various stakeholders, including Environmental Specialists of World Bank funded Project Implementation Units (PIUs) and other implementation partners, consultants preparing ESIAs, and contractors/supervising consultants on WBG operations.

* Support the ENB Practice Manager, the Regional Standard Coordinator, and SLCEN Caribbean ESF CMU Coordinator in reviewing other projects’ instruments, portfolio management and preparing communications to be conveyed to the Caribbean Country Management Unit.

* Support dialogue with the Caribbean Country Management Unit to ensure engagement on environmental issues in strategic discussions and country documents.

* Work with the SLCEN Caribbean ESF CMU Coordinator to inform management when project complaints arise and are escalated to the World Bank Grievance Redress Service and when, project incidents occur.

* Engage in policy dialogue with clients on environmental risk management and environmental sustainability issues, ranging from upstream inputs into Systematic Country Diagnostics and Country Partnership Frameworks, to advising counterparts on related policies or on risks and opportunities in relation to Bank-supported operations.

* Collaborate with other World Bank Group Global Practices and IFC/MIGA colleagues on joint projects and with counterparts from other multilateral development institutions as needed.

* Coordinate and carry out other tasks as needed.

Selection Criteria

– Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) – degree in environmental engineering is required.

– A minimum of 5 years of full-time relevant professional experience in the environmental sector with demonstrated ability in environmental safeguards and/or environmental risk management.

– Proven track record in designing and implementing environmental safeguards or environmental risk management tools and instruments (including on Occupational Health and Safety); and/or monitoring environmental safeguards compliance for international financial institutions or engineering companies or similar areas is required.

– Knowledge and experience in environmental assessment and management of environmental compliance in investment projects in environmentally sensitive areas is required.

– Excellent oral and written fluency in English.

– Strong operational and analytical skills and demonstrated ability to translate analytical work into policy advice and practical recommendations.

– Ability to present complex issues related to environmental sustainability to Task Teams and other Bank audiences, and to engage effectively with government counterparts, project beneficiaries and civil society.

– Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills and demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams.

– Proven leadership, team management and mentorship capacity.

– Experience working in different developing countries.

– Willingness to travel extensively in the region and possibly globally is vital, including to remote rural areas.

The following would be an advantage but not required:

* Sound knowledge of World Bank safeguards policies, the ESF, and/or IFC Performance Standards or similar standards as well as different project level stakeholders, including the challenges and opportunities of applying such standards for borrowing countries, would be an advantage.

* Work experience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).


Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena– Translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.

Policy Dialogue Skills- Anticipate needs and requests in the field and conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners.

Integrative Skills -Understand relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.

Environmental Sector Issues– Demonstrates strong knowledge of at least one relevant thematic business line, namely “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.

Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions Translates technical analyses into policies, operations and/or research as they relate to any of the following thematic business lines: “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.

Sector/Network Representation– Demonstrates ability to coordinate, participate in, and act as a catalyst for, strategic cross-sector dialogues within the network, across the country, among Bank colleagues and other development institutions, government, and other organizations.

Project Design for Impact and Sustainability– Contributes to the design of projects and programs, based on an understanding of the country and sector context and requirement of environmental risk management.

Communication and Influencing Skills– demonstrates the ability to influence and persuade others to accept ideas and suggestions (such as counterparts in government, international partner organizations, academia, and Bank colleagues, senior staff, and managers). Has ability to communicate and defend, orally and in writing, challenges and positions to colleagues and management.

Specialized Knowledge & Technical Skills – Environment & Natural Resources Management

– Demonstrates solid understanding of environmental/NRM/climate change policies, technologies or strategies, and institutions needed to support development and for the success of project and analytic work.
– Demonstrates solid understanding of the roles of each WBG institution and its relationship to environment/NRM/climate change.
– Demonstrates strong knowledge of at least one relevant thematic business line, namely “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.
– Translates technical analyses into policies, operations and/or research as they relate to any of the following thematic business lines: “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.
– Provides guidance and coaching to others on technical and operational matters.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.





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