Local hire: Natural Resources Management Specialist

Antananarivo, , MG

Background / General description:

Sustainable environment and natural resources management (ENRM) is at the heart of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) 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.

Forests play a key role in the national development of African countries and are central to poverty reduction efforts and economic development. Forest products provide a significant share of the livelihoods of the poorest people. They create employment and have the potential of creating more and better jobs. If managed well, the share of the forestry sector in GDP and tax revenues could increase considerably. This would require improved governance, stricter law enforcement, but also more investments in the forestry sector. In addition, key economic sectors such as agriculture, mining and transport can become more forest-friendly so that forests can occupy a more secure place in the landscape and national development plans.

The Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice (GENDR) of the World Bank 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 $7 billion, and a growing pipeline of new investments under active development.
ENRM activities in Sub-Saharan Africa represent a substantial part of the ENR GP Portfolio. Sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of around 875 million people in 47 countries, is home to 36 of the world’s poorest countries.  Making headway against poverty in sub-Saharan Africa continues to present the world with its most formidable development challenge.  

The Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice unit for Africa (GEN07) covers the following business lines:
     GREEN: Forests, Watersheds & Sustainable Landscapes – managing renewable natural capital across landscapes;
     BLUE: Marine, Coastal & Aquatic Resources – unlocking the wealth of marine, coastal and fresh water economies;
     BROWN: Pollution Management & Environmental Health – reducing pollution to improve environmental conditions;
     Clean and Resilient Growth: – fostering economics and institutions for sustainable and sustained growth; and
     Environmental Risk Management & Sustainability: Managing risks and creating opportunity to advice sustainable development.
Within GENDR Global Practice, the GEN07 unit covers West and Central Africa and Indian Ocean islands). This unit develops and manages operations in a variety of areas such as natural resources management, coastal zone management, forestry, pollution, landscape and terrestrial and marine natural resources.

More specifically the mission of GEN07 is to work with national and local governments and with communities to improve sustainable management of natural resources and improve preparedness to natural disasters in 26 countries, including Madagascar.

In Madagascar, GEN07 manages a growing portfolio of projects from a variety of funding sources, including the International Development Association (IDA), and trust funds such as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). These funding sources address cross-cutting themes such as poverty reduction, carbon finance and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest carbon stock conservation, sustainable management of forests, enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), and fisheries development and governance. The Bank task team is blending funding from these various sources to provide programmatic support to Madagascar.

In addition, GEN07 is in charge of providing environmental safeguards services across all sectors and projects funded by the World Bank in Madagascar. Considering that most of the projects developed in the different sectors covered by the World Bank’s activities carry significant environmental and social impacts, GEN07 contributes specialized staff for ensuring that environmental safeguards are addressed in an efficient and credible manner.

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 2 year term appointment.

The Bank is recruiting a Natural Resources Management Specialist to:

1) Support GEN07 in the preparation and implementation of lending and grant-funded operations, and Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA) in coordination with the Government of Madagascar, donors and other stakeholders particularly in the areas of forests and fisheries. More specifically the staff to be hired will be expected to:

• Support and/or lead operational and analytical work on REDD+, forests and the links to poverty reduction and development in the context of economic development and rational land use across sectors.

• Support the Government of Madagascar in finalizing its Emission Reductions Program Document for submission to the FCPF Carbon Fund.

• Support Madagascar in preparing a multi-sector and multi-donor Sustainable Agriculture Landscape Project which will contribute important investment finance to better manage forests and land while boosting agricultural productivity.

• Support the implementation of the Ci-Dev funded Ethanol Clean Cooking Climate Finance Program.

• Support the implementation and supervision of the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Project (“SWIOFish”), primarily in Madagascar, but possibly also in other participating countries.

• Facilitate and maintain effective communication with local partners, NGOs, civil society, the private sector, as well as specialized international organizations, on both forests and fisheries.

• Contribute to GENDR and corporate tasks related to forests, fisheries and natural resources management in Madagascar and beyond.

• Contribute to Madagascar country team discussions (e.g., Country Partnership Frameworks, Advisory Services and Analytical pieces) involving forests and fisheries.

• Support engagement around environmental issues with focus on forests and fisheries and contribute towards translating these dialogues into proposals for IDA, GEF or international climate financing opportunities.

• Contribute, at the corporate level, to knowledge sharing, particularly in the area of forests, fisheries and natural resources management, and share experience through participation to a variety of events, seminars and thematic group meetings.

2) Provide environmental safeguards support to investment operations under preparation and supervision by other Global Practices in Madagascar, which may involve:

• During project preparation: identify which of the Bank’s safeguards policies will be triggered; assist the borrower/project implementation agency in preparing these instruments and review them for quality; contribute well-written summaries of key safeguards instruments for inclusion in project documentation.

• During project implementation: supervise compliance with the Bank’s safeguards policies by building effective working relationships with the borrower/project implementation agency to ensure proper understanding of the policies; help the borrower/implementing agency apply the safeguards policies effectively.

• During both preparation and implementation: go beyond narrow policy compliance to look for opportunities to improve the environmental outcomes of the project he/she is supporting; work closely with the Social Safeguards Specialist assigned to each operation and provide back up support as required.

Selection Criteria:


• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Understands policy making process; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.

• Policy Dialogue Skills – Identifies and assesses policy issues and plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders.

• Integrative Skills – Working to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector.

• Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions – Familiarity with environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.

• Environmental Sciences – Depth in at least one area: water; ecosystems; forests; conservation; agriculture concerns, etc.

• 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 perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.

• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.

• Make Smart Decisions – Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.

Other Selection Criteria

In addition to the above the above core competencies the following criteria will have to be satisfied for the position of Environmental Specialist:

• Master’s degree or equivalent academic qualification in a relevant discipline with a preference given to  forestry, and as alternatives environmental science, environmental economics, biology, public policy, or equivalent;

• Minimum of 5 years of professional experience in the environmental sector, including proven experience in REDD+, forest/agriculture landscape, and fisheries projects;

• Experience in implementing (and/or supervising the implementation of) Natural resources management programs/projects.

• Good knowledge of environmental issues in Madagascar, including but not limited to legislation and institutions;

• Understanding of the programmatic approach to forests and fisheries (in the context of multi-sectoral approaches and the national development plan, and using various sources of financing);

• Understanding of the Bank’s assistance to the forest and fisheries sectors in Madagascar, including of the various funding instruments that make up the Bank’s support to the government;

• Understanding of the role of fisheries and marine protected areas in Madagascar, and their role in poverty reduction, nutrition, etc.;

• Strong understanding of REDD+ as a policy instrument, including the use and design of jurisdictional REDD+ Emission Reductions Programs; Familiarity with the application of the World Bank’s environmental safeguards policies;

• Familiarity with social safeguards issues and particularly an understanding of social issues related to forests and fisheries;

• Familiarity with application of spatial (GIS) and statistical tools in the field of natural resources management;

• Field experience in the forest or fisheries sectors;

• Operational experience with private sector or civil society organization, and/or field experience with community-based development.

In addition the following skills will be particularly considered during the selection process:

• Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams on diverse and complex tasks;

• Understanding of the Bank’s policies and financial instruments;

• Strong client orientation with the ability to build an understanding with implementing agency counterparts on the value-added of Bank operations;

• Drive for results while working with limited supervision and under tight timelines;

• Ability to solve problems rather than merely identify them;

• Ability to think innovatively and negotiate effectively;

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and French;

• Willingness to travel internationally as necessary.