Local recruitment: Environmental Specialist

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


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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. Visit www.worldbank.org.

The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region

The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region comprises 30 extremely diverse countries, with a population of nearly 500 million people. Although 10 of our clients have joined the EU and 7 of these have graduated, most continue to remain active recipients of knowledge and/or lending services. Furthermore, in the midst of a crisis like the pandemic that we are experiencing now, some of the advanced countries re-engage with the Bank for additional support, including financial. ECA has a strong lending pipeline as well as a large and growing portfolio of Reimbursable Advisory Services. Knowledge is critical to the Bank’s value proposition to client countries in the ECA region in both lending and advisory services.

 A predominantly middle- and high-income region, ECA continues to be at the forefront in confronting the numerous development challenges that countries face in the evolving global economy. The region is at the vanguard of building regional connectivity while having to manage the changing structure of the labor market. At the same time, digital technologies are changing the nature of work, populations are aging, and large migration flows have generated social tensions that have contributed to increased political polarization. These emerging trends threaten to reverse the region’s achievements in regional integration, poverty reduction and shared prosperity.  

 The ECA region is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change. It has a large potential to strengthen climate change resilience and improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing its contribution to climate change. Other important challenges affecting parts of the region include frozen conflicts and domestic political instability.

 In February 2020, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak interrupted the incipient recovery and the impact on growth remains highly uncertain and in a downside scenario of prolonged shutdowns, output in ECA could contract by nearly 8 percent in 2020. The pandemic also poses medium-term risks, particularly if global value chain linkages are lost or if extended school closures have a significant impact on learning, dropout rates, and human capital development.

 The near- and medium-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis serve to re-emphasize the critical importance of ECA’s medium-term strategic agenda on raising productivity and boosting resilience. This focuses on three priority areas:

  • Boosting human capital to raise productivity;
  • Building solid foundations and resilience for growth; and.
  • Enabling markets to achieve high productivity in the private sector.

 The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region: https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/eca

The Sustainable Development  Practice Group

 The Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (PG) helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food, Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy, Environmental and Social Framework, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience & Land, Social Sustainability and Inclusion, and Water.

Environment Natural Resources & Blue Economy (ENB) Global Practice

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

Country Management Unit (CMU) for the European Union Member States

The EU CMU maintains and fosters all operational relationships with the EU member states – but with a varying level of intensity, depending on existing and potential operational programs in the respective client countries. The Regional Director oversees the program from the Brussels office, and the CMU has additional offices headed by Country Managers in Bucharest (Romania), Sofia (Bulgaria), Warsaw (Poland) and Zagreb (Croatia). The World Bank’s most active operational engagements in the EU are in Central and Eastern Europe, where the World Bank’s program has increased significantly in the past five years. Besides lending, a major, and growing, part of the program is Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) as well as Trust Funded advisory services.

The Bucharest Country Office

World Bank office in Bucharest houses a joint IBRD-IFC team of 55 staff. It is a dynamic and diverse team recognized for its professional excellence and commitment to teamwork, both of which are necessary to deliver a large and complex program of assistance. As of August 2020, Romania portfolio includes 9 active lending operations (including IPF, DPF and PforR) amounting to around US$2 billion, 34 signed RAS agreements amounting to over US$100 million, 9 EU-funded TFs (US$5 million) and 3 non-RAS ASA (BB-financed). Both Romania and the EU continue to look to the Bank for its knowledge and highly focused financial support to specifically address challenges where the Bank adds value, in particular around institutional, structural and regional discrepancies. The Bank’s program is defined in the Country Partnership Framework  (CPF) 2018-2023 and focuses on strengthening institutions, the key binding constraint to Romania’s sustained and inclusive growth. The CPF is built on 3 pillars which define the engagement with the authorities along the following objectives: ensuring equal opportunities for all; strengthening private sector growth and competitiveness; and improving resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

 Duties and Accountabilities

SCAEN, the ENB unit of SD PG in ECA, seeks to recruit an Environment Specialist in the Bucharest Country Office. The Specialist will join a team of over 35 environmental professionals located in Washington DC and various ECA countries and will report to unit’s Practice Manager (currently located in Washington DC). The Specialist will mostly work on Romania  while also supporting the ENB program in other ECA countries, with the focus on two CMUs:  the EU CMU and the Wester Balkan CMU (covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia). The Specialist will be an integral part of the Bucharest country office, comprised of staff from several GPs and other units, and led by Country Manager

The Environment Specialist will work on environmental risk management, operations and analytical work. The list of tasks below is indicative. Specific assignments will be decided in dialogue with the Practice Manager and based on ENB portfolio and priority needs.

On environmental risk management, the Environmental Specialist will provide conceptual, operational, and technical support on environmental safeguards under the respective World Bank policies and the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) for the World Bank financed projects, including:

  • Provide guidance and technical support for screening Bank projects for environmental impacts and vulnerabilities, assess an environment risk category/level, and identify risk management opportunities/strategies;
  • Guide the borrower/project implementation agency in preparing the necessary ESF instruments and review them for quality assurance;
  • Monitor compliance of project-financed activities with safeguards policies or ESF as finalized in the safeguards documents by participating in projects technical discussions, field visits, reviewing projects reports and recommending adequate measures;
  • Seek and develop opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and climate considerations (including climate “co-benefits”) in various lending operations; maintaining regular dialogue with the client and enhancing their capacity for understanding and compliance with World Bank environmental policies;
  • Contribute analyzing and disseminating lessons learned and best practices from applying ESF in specific World Bank projects for knowledge and learning purposes
  • Work closely with and under guidance of Regional ESF Coordinator and assigned senior specialists.

As part of the operations and analytical work, the Environmental Specialist will undertake some of the following:

  • Engage in environmental policy dialogue with the Romanian government and other stakeholders, on various thematic topics, including pollution management and transition to circular economy, nature protection and landscape productivity, blue economy development, environmental risk management, climate resilience and green growth.
  • Advise on the implementation of relevant EU directives and regulations (Environmental Acquis) in the field, including the current legislation and policies relevant to the EU Green Deal.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of select operations, technical assistance, or analytical work which require knowledge of environmental management issues and legal, institutional, and policy frameworks in Romania, as well as possibly other EU member states or accession countries;

 As a staff member of the ENB GP, ECA Sustainable Development and the Bucharest Country Office, The Environment Specialist will:

  • Facilitate and maintain effective communication with relevant stakeholders in Romania inside and outside the World Bank Group, including government officials, NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector, as well as specialized international organizations;
  • Represent the World Bank in donor, government and other meetings, forums and events on environment and climate issues as requested by Practice Manager or Country Manager;
  • Advise Country Manager and Country Team on environmental issues in the country, as they affect development projects and programs, contribute to activities and initiatives of the Bucharest office, as needed, raising the profile of the environmental sustainability and climate change agendas within the office and the country.

Selection Criteria

  • Advanced degree (Master’s or Ph.D) in environmental or civil engineering, environmental or natural sciences, or other relevant disciplines;
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience as an environmental professional in the fields of environmental risk / impact assessment and management; pollution control and/or natural resource management and /or climate change, including both sector-wide policy review and project-specific experience.
  • Knowledge of and experience with EU legislation, policies, and standards in the field of environment and climate change;
  • Good analytical skills with ability to analyze and synthesize diverse qualitative and quantitative environmentally related data and information;
  • Ability to work well with multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams and with a range of stakeholders, including project-affected parties, government officials, non-governmental organizations / civil society, development partners as well as project investors;
  • Knowledge of international good practice for management of environmental risks, including World Bank ESF/Safeguards policies and instruments, and/or IFC’s Performance Standards /MIGA Environmental and Social policies or similar standards, would be an advantage;
  • Ability to communicate ideas clearly and confidently, articulate issues and recommend solutions; excellent verbal and written English and Romanian skills are essential;
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently within and outside Romania is required (subject to COVID-19 related restrictions).