Local recruitment: Associate (Environmental Economist)

Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

, , CO

The Environmental Economist Associate will be part of the regional team, reporting to the Deputy Country Representative / Policy Coordinator. S/he will be responsible for providing technical support to relevant sub-national and National counterparts on Environmental Economy to identifying Green Growth opportunities and support teams with research driven data on identification of business cases, investments alternatives, economic instruments and policy interventions to foster Green Growth jointly with rest of the team of the Colombian Country Office (CCO). The position will offer technical and relevant policy research assistance in Antioquia, but also to the rest of the CCO and relevant partners.


Reporting to the Deputy Country Representative / Policy Coordinator, the Environmental Economist Associate will be part of the Subnational team, but will provide technical assistance on environmental economy to the Colombian Country Office (CCO) The successful candidate will:

  • Conduct economic research and analysis to provide support to COO in promoting sound and cost-effective policy decisions related to environmental protection and sustainable use of the natural and transformed environments (such as deforestation control, alternative energies use, public and private land use, soil conservation, air and water pollution control);
  • Support the team with policy and regulation research and economic analysis to address market or institutional failures that contribute to the poor environmental performance of economic activities or limit their capacity to be sustainable;
  • Apply enough technical skills to acquire relevant information/knowledge from a variety of sources in support of delivery of a good quality output.
  • Engage with Subnational and National public and private stakeholders to identify environmental economics needs in the context of the targeted sectors to be addressed by the Colombia-GGGI-Norway Green Growth Program (Phase II) and map out potential opportunities relevant to these needs;
  • Closely collaborate and liaise with other GGGI-Colombia team members for technical consultation and inputs to align efforts and workstreams from national to sub-national level, to build a strong team capable of supporting Government counterparts and meeting program goals and requirements;
  • Engage with CCO team to assist with the identification of economical instruments and incentives to facilitate more sustainable practices adoption, particularly in the areas of sustainable landscapes;
  • Advise Programme Managers on status of project delivery highlighting issues of resource management and delivery schedule;
  • Be up-to-date and advise the team on policy development framework, institutional landscape, public management and financing structures and political environment related to environmental economics;
  • Engage with CCO team in stakeholder mapping and to support facilitation of a dialogue between government and various stakeholders in on environmental economics and related policy decisions.
  • With support of Policy coordinator refine and mainstream a methodology for evaluating financial, social and natural capital returns derived from green inclusive business models using, with particular attention to hidden costs of externalities (biodiversity loss, soil depletion, water pollution, loss of pollinators, etc.) and lost income opportunities which can be tangibly measured;
  • Monitor and quantify benefits, costs and impacts of activities that affect the environment using economic principles and statistical techniques;
  • Through research assist in multiple sustainable landscapes assessments and pre-feasibility studies of pipeline projects to build the economic and financial cases of sustainable bioeconomy and securing healthy natural systems;
  • Contribute to drafting analytical documents and policy briefs that inform and support decision-makers on natural resource policies, standards, programs or investments;
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to communicate policy or program assessments study results, recommendations to raise awareness of environmental impacts, and promote the economic benefits of sound environmental policies and regulations;
  • Able to provide policy and investment recommendations based on the results of economic analyses as a basis for targeted fiscal and policy reform where natural capital can be recognized for its true value, design of economic instruments and identify innovative ways to access finance;
  • Independently organize delivery with tight deadlines; with capacity to show immediate results for further actions on the ground as well as ability to focus on longer term outcomes with regards to natural capital related fiscal and policy reform;
  • Disseminate knowledge and communication products for replication and scaling internally and externally;
  • Participate in any other relevant activities deemed necessary for the development of GGGI’s Colombia program, including monitoring and evaluation of related activities.
  • Post-graduate education (or equivalent professional experience) in natural resource/ecological economics, conservation economics/finance with experience in Sustainable Landscapes sectors and nature-based solutions such as forestry, bioeconomy, eco-tourism and inclusive rural development;
  • At least 4 years of relevant professional experience in the analysis development and drafting of policies, regulations, economic or financial instruments that would address environmental issues and natural capital conservation;
  • Sound understanding of financial instruments (grants, debt, guarantees and equity), blended finance and sustainable landscape sector investment areas is a plus;
  • Familiarity and understanding of land use issues, opportunities, economics, costs and benefit and impacts, as well as policies, regulations and economic instruments to address them, particularly in Colombia;
  • Relevant experience in supporting government entities as well as development and green growth-related topics;
  • Exceptional analytical and quantitative skills; capacity for synthesis, presentation and communication; and strategic thinking skills;
  • (MANDATORY) Must be a Colombian citizen, or a foreigner holding a valid Work Visa.
  • Experience in sustainable bioeconomy business valuations for forest, agroforestry agriculture and silvopastoral-based enterprises and value chains as well as engagements with private sector and financial institutions;
  • Experience and in-depth knowledge in natural capital relevant baseline assessments, econometrics, accounting, scenario development and extended cost-benefit analyses which integrates natural capital indicators in its methodology;
  • Proven capacity to deliver clear and compelling assessments and reports with rigorous analysis and practical recommendations;
  • Be familiar with existing and upcoming innovative tools and data sources to measure changes in natural capital assets and ecosystem service flows to be built into cost-benefit scenarios and models at project level;
  • An entrepreneurial and innovative mindset on economic approaches and in accessing quality and verifiable spatial and other data sources for rigorous economic analyses;
  • Strong ability to work with a diverse multicultural team for effective collaboration;
  • Network of relevant professional contacts;
  • Experience in economic modeling of landscape restoration projects is an advantage;
  • Experience in developing funding proposals for international donors an advantage;
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal;
  • Able to pick up and assimilate relevant information quickly and easily. Learns new tasks rapidly. Responds swiftly and appropriately. Can think on their feet in rapidly changing environments;
  • Sets high but achievable standards for self and others. Seeks opportunities to improve process and outcomes. Constantly reviews performance to identify areas to develop;
  • Capacity to provide technical guidance towards strategic targets, work plans and high-quality deliverables.
  • Ability to provide sound and appropriate technical advice, understanding the counterparts´ needs, limitations and capacities;
  • Excellent ability to multi-task and prioritize under stressful circumstances;
  • Attention to detail, quality control and superb organizational abilities.
  • Able to achieve results in a quality, timely, and cost-effective way. Sees priorities, plans the efficient use of resources, and monitors progress against objectives. Anticipates crucial stages in projects. Formulates alternative means of achieving objectives. Responds effectively to unforeseen events;
  • Outstanding stakeholder engagement, client relationship, communication, team work and consensus building;
  • Proven track record of taking initiative independently with minimal supervision and strong delivery capacity;
  • Sets personal goals which are challenging but achievable. Pursues these with energy, persistence and determination. Enthusiastic and committed to improving personal performance levels;
  • Actively participates in team. Encourages co-operation. Aware of the needs of others and responds flexibly. Shares information and supports other team members. Can get things done through others and set realistic objectives;
  • Able to communicate information and ideas clearly and articulately both in oral and written form. Uses appropriate language, style and methods depending on audience and the purpose of communication;
  • Takes balanced view of situations incorporating different perspectives. Seeks alternative viewpoints. Recognizes priorities, weighs up different options and evaluates risks. Reaches logical conclusions and decides on appropriate plan of action. Evaluates previous judgements in order to improve.


Applications and CV´s must be send in English 

Please notice that “Date to close” is in Korean Standard Time (KST) – not Colombia time –


GGGI has been working with the Government of Colombia to advance green growth policies and green investments, through strategic partnerships such as with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Treasury and Public Credit and the National Planning Department, among others. In a new phase of collaboration with Government agencies at the national and sub-national level, GGGI with the Support of the Norwegian Kingdom is initiating an expansion of its Colombia Country program, mainly to support the transition towards a greener growth pathway that is socially inclusive and contributes to Colombia´s medium term development agenda. The expected impact of this collaboration, after five years of support (2017-2022), is an increased capacity to mainstream green growth objectives into development planning and investments in priority sectors and regions that are critical for Colombia´s future green growth, particularly in areas that are highly susceptible to increased natural resource degradation and forest cover loss.

The program was divided in two phases, one from 2017-2019, and a second one from 2020-2022. The second phase was designed to increase green growth investments in priority regions and sectors and to support the Government of Colombia (GoC) to reduce the current trend in deforestation. The program outcomes are aligned with the GoC´s nationally determined contributions (NDC) targets and sustainable development goals (SDGs), GGGI’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 and GGGI Colombia Country Planning Framework (CPF) 2016-2020, as well as the Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) strategic objectives. 

The desired impact of the activities to be carried between 2020-2022 is to facilitate Colombia in achieving its SDGs and NDC, with specific targets under the Duque administration reflected in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2022:

  • Reduce the tendency of growth of projected deforestation by the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) from 0% to 30%.
  • Accumulated reduction of 36 MTnCO2eq of greenhouse gases (GHG), in relation to the national point of reference.
  • Proportion of overall share gross domestic product (GDP) comprised by the forestry sector from 0.79% to 1%.
  • Increase areas under sustainable conservation management (restoration, agroforestry systems, sustainable forest management) from 701,000 ha to 1,402,900 ha.
  • Increase areas under Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes and incentives for conservation from 65,000 ha to 260,000 ha.

The second phase of the program is focused on: (i) strengthening conditions to increase the effectiveness of institutes to enforce measures of deforestation control and reduce deforestation; and, (ii) the implementation and subsequent upscaling of sustainable and/or restorative production systems through a landscape management approach.

The program capitalizes on GGGI’s comparative advantage to provide context-specific, tailored, green growth solutions, as well as its experience to date in promoting the green growth agenda in Colombia and other countries.  Phase II of the program is designed to ensure that results are consistently delivered and the outcomes of Phase I are sustained. This is achieved by leveraging lessons learned as well as by taking advantage of synergies with other donor-funded activities and programs. This is made possible by GGGI unique positioning within GoC, that now includes supporting directly the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance. In fact, with Norway support, GGGI has built a strong reputation in the country, becoming the go-to institution for the GoC on sustainability related topics. This is also made clear by the decision of the GoC to recently approve Law 1954/2019 for the Establishment Agreement of GGGI in Colombia and moving towards an additional ongoing bill in Congress for the approval of the Host Country Agreement which is expected to be finalized this year. 

The Theory of Change of the proposed program was developed in consultation with key government actors such as the Ministries of Finance, Agriculture, Environment and Commerce, and the National Planning Department (DNP for its acronym in Spanish), as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, the Norwegian Embassy in Bogotá and other development partners.

The intrinsic logic of this program lies in the fact that to reduce the loss of forest cover and increase the sustainability and inclusiveness of production landscapes, it is necessary to both add value to current forest stands in order to provide conservation incentives, and alongside promote a sustainable, inclusive and productive transformation of landscapes. 

There are various underlying principles which underpin the fundamentals of Phase II of the program. The main principle being that GGGI will continue to build upon existing efforts to promote green growth, such as the implementation of the Green Growth Policy (with an emphasis on the forest economy) along with other relevant and aligned NDP goals, such as lowering the deforestation rate, increasing areas under sustainable conservation systems and PES. Secondly, there is an increased focus on delivering results at the subnational level, to increase deforestation reduction results in the selected Departamentos and to augment the number of hectares and investments under a sustainable and restorative production systems approach.

During the program implementation period GGGI will be responsible for developing and managing a Project Preparation Facility (PPF) aimed at facilitating the preparation of investment-ready forest-based projects across selected regions by applying blended finance solutions throughout the development phase. GGGI´s PPF will provide technical support to project owners/concessionaires to develop bankable projects spanning the entire value chain – from production to market. The emphasis will be on projects that contribute to forest conservation, restoration, food security, green employment creation, gender equality and smallholders´ livelihoods. The PPF will contribute to the structuring of a solid pipeline of sustainable projects aligned with each region’s needs and priorities to be submitted for funding to public and private investors and finance providers. During the three years of program implementation, the PPF will build and maintain a pipeline of investment-ready projects to be marketed to selected national and international, public and private investors comprising the PPF Investors Roundtable.

Finally, key partners and stakeholders will be kept close to accelerate the market pull of low-deforestation and sustainability practices throughout value chains. This will reward and incentivize businesses to adopt such production standards and scale up sectorial ambition on these topics. Target sectors to be addressed through the program will include forestry and non-timber forest products (NFTPs) (including sustainable forest management), sustainable livestock and nature-based tourism products.

It is therefore that working at the subnational level becomes imperative to attaining the real positive impacts of a greener development model, that is low in deforestation and high in environmental and social dividends, will be manifested. Effective decentralization of green growth and climate friendly policies to the subnational level, including the integration of these into local level sector planning and investments, and the generation of success stories will be crucial to achieving longer term green growth objectives. Progress towards a greener and climate friendly economy in Colombia with increased generation of jobs and income will be highly dependent on adequate public and private financing that is aligned to and supports the attainment of green growth objectives. Currently, general public expenditure instruments, such as territorial transfers, compensation mechanisms, and traditional public investment (on infrastructure, for example) do not yet integrate climate change and green growth principles. There are, however, a number of opportunities to ensure a more efficient use of public funds towards common, greener development objectives, including through the Royalties system, and other public investment instruments.






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