Senior Environmental Specialist

Brasilia, , BR

Background / General description:


Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2016, the World Bank Group committed nearly $64.2 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and private businesses. The Bank’s Board approved approximately $45.9 billion in financial assistance, comprising about $29.7 billion in IBRD lending and about $16.2 billion in IDA support.

The institution is governed by 189 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with more than 10,000 staff located globally. The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution (CCSAs) Areas to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


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 and other Trust Funds, to mainstream environmental considerations into their policies, strategies, and operations.


The Latin America and Caribbean Region (LCR) unit of the ENR GP (GEN04) is comprised of some 35 professionals, based in LCR country offices and Washington DC, HQ working on a dynamic program in all the areas outlined above. This includes a cutting-edge portfolio, a lending pipeline and non-lending technical assistance in all ENR business lines. In addition, there is a strong demand for Green Growth and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) implementation related analytical and advisory and technical assistance services (ASA), in line with country commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This demand is in line with Brazil’s NDC commitment under the UNFCCC COP-21 Paris Agreement, which entails an ambitious 43 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. However, the current economic crisis is highlighting the challenges the country faces in meeting its NDC commitments, with fiscal cuts affecting its capacity to maintain its exemplary track record in climate change mitigation.

The Brazil program, which entails one of the WBG’s largest environmental portfolios, also includes significant Bank Budget-funded ASA support to the national NDC policy dialogue. It is complemented by current and prospective Trust Fund resources from various sources, e.g. Global Environment Facility (GEF), Forest Investment Program (FIP), Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), Climate Investments Fund (CIF), Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Korean Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF), NDC Partnership Support Facility (NDCPSF), Program of Forests (PROFOR), amongst others. This engagement is also strongly aligned with the WBG Country Partnership Strategy (FY17-FY22), which places a strong focus on Green and Inclusive Growth and NDC achievement. The Brazil Program forms also an integral part of the WBG corporate commitments under the FY16-FY20 Forest Action Plan, the FY16-FY20 Climate Change Action Plan and the ENR GP’s focus on clean and resilient growth in collaboration with other Sustainable Development GPs, the Climate Change CCSA as well as the IFC.

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 ENR GP is seeking a highly qualified Senior Environmental Specialist who will lead the WBG policy dialogue in Brazil to design and implement policies and investments to reach its COP21 NDC targets. The specialist would be based in the World Bank office in Brasilia (Brazil). The incumbent will report to the GEN04 Practice Manager and work closely with the LCC5C CMU unit, including the Program Leader for Sustainable Development. The specialist would also lead the WBG’s Brazil engagement on clean and resilient growth by engaging in relevant activities on environmental policy, environmental economics and institutional development. Specifically:
i) Strategic Dialogue and Business Development
•    Provide policy and technical leadership, quality assurance and vision to the achievement of Brazil’s NDCs and Climate Action Plan and position the WBG as thought leader in this agenda;
•    Provide top level technical advice to government and Bank staff on ENR business lines, with a focus on climate relevant activities;
•    Coordinate and conduct the NDC policy dialogue with relevant development partners and donors active in Brazil;
•    In close coordination with colleagues from infrastructure-related sectors, develop the dialogue for the ‘brown’ environment agenda and identify business opportunities (e.g. environmental health, pollution management).

ii) Operations Preparation, Supervision and Advisory
•    Serve as Task Team Leader (TTL) and/or technical specialist in ENR GP projects.
•    Supervise projects and engage in the regular monitoring of project implementation to ensure best results on the ground;
•    Support teams from other SD practices in lending operations that incorporate environmental components, technical assistance or analytical tasks;
•    Lead and independently conduct technical discussions with clients on environment relevant topics. Provide technical support on climate change related aspects to Task Teams of other practices;
•    Provide cross-support to other sector units or country programs in the LAC region;
•    Identify, acquire and leverage Trust Fund resources in support of the FY17-FY22 Brazil Country Partnership Framework (CPF).

iii) Leadership and Knowledge Management
•    Provide leadership on knowledge management by ensuring that the Bank’s global knowledge and expertise on climate change is readily available to clients;
•    Develop a programmatic ASA portfolio on climate change and lead cutting edge ESW in this area;
•    Ensure that environmental and climate change aspects are considered in the preparation of country engagement products, e.g. Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD), Country Partnership Framework (CPF), and Performance and Learning Review (PLR).  Prepare relevant policy notes and contribute to corporate reviews.

Selection Criteria:

In addition to meeting Bank-wide competencies for Grade GG level positions, it is expected that the successful candidate meets the following selection criteria:

•    A Masters or PhD Degree in environmental sciences, economics or engineering, with particular relevance to climate change;
•    A minimum of eight years of full-time relevant experience including the preparation and/or supervision of environment and climate change lending operations;
•    Proven experience with Bank lending products, e.g. investment project financing (IPF), development policy financing (DPF), program for results (P4R);
•    Demonstrated ability to lead high quality analytical tasks (ASA product line, country environmental analysis, climate change policy notes);
•    Recognized technical leadership in and outside the World Bank in the area of environment, natural resources and, particularly, climate change, with most of this experience having been acquired in a developing country context;
•    Proven track record of innovation in Bank operational or ASA work and record of knowledge sharing;
•    Capacity to identify long-range climate goals and objectives, develop strategic approaches, and conceptualize a multi-year plan to operationalize these strategies (e.g. climate financing strategies, carbon pricing, green taxes).
•    Proven ability to build client relationships involving multiple stakeholders, with a commitment to results on the ground;
•    Proven positive track record in problem solving, reflected in high satisfaction ratings by internal clients, such as Country Directors and GP clients (Practice Managers, TTLs and Safeguards Advisors;  
•    Demonstrated record of maintaining high service standards under pressure, meeting deadlines, and accommodating simultaneous demands from various clients;
•    Proven teamwork and leadership skills, working with multidisciplinary teams across different sectors, across operational boundaries within the World Bank Group and outside it;
•    Knowledge of relevant Bank operational procedures and policies as well as experience in identifying, preparing, appraising, and supervising lending operations;
•    Excellent communication skills;
•    Experience with the planning and conduct of training programs for external and internal audiences concerning environment and climate change;
•    Trust Fund management certified (IPF- and DPF-accreditation an advantage);
•    Excellent writing and communication skills;
•    Fluency in English and Portuguese (with Spanish desirable).


•    Integrative Skills
Is able to link all relevant cross-sectoral areas to own work, and understands how they are interrelated. Draws on diverse, cross-sectoral teams to enhance the rigor of advice on cross-cutting and sectoral issues. For operations roles, demonstrates ability to undertake cross-sectoral work, in lending and non-lending operations.
•    Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena
Has ability to translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies. Interacts with clients at the policy level, and organizes and manages policy development initiatives in collaboration with other development agencies and donors. Ensures consistency and conformity to Bank standards.
•    Policy Dialogue Skills
Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills. Applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners. Is able to anticipate needs and requests in the field and develop/offer relevant tools to clients. Is able to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues. Able to lead task teams, participate in formal negotiations, and assist government in establishing priorities.
•    Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions
Has a solid understanding of the environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations needed to support development and for the success of the project. Knows the client’s strategy and structure, and can assess impact on the project. Can credibly and effectively engage with a range of environmental institutions to support project outcomes. Explains to clients and other stakeholders the risks to the project when environmental laws and regulations are deficient or not enforced. Supports client efforts to address such weaknesses.
•    Environmental Sciences
Has direct experience in the environmental sciences, including deeper experience in at least one area. Has extensive experience with applying this knowledge to projects, studies, and other deliverables. Develops novel approaches to mitigate risk or overcome difficult challenges. Has experience applying this knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.
•    Lead and Innovate
Encourages and works with others to identify, incubate and implement relevant solutions. Identifies opportunities in changing circumstances and energizes others to continuously improve, using intentional strategies to boost morale, team spirit, and productivity in context of WBG’s values and mission. Helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context.
•    Deliver Results for Clients
Develops and implements solutions that show understanding of how clients and/or own work achieves results that are financially, environmentally and socially sustainable. Shares new insights based on in-depth understanding of the client and recommends solutions for current and future needs of clients. Holds self and team accountable for risk management and outcomes.
•    Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries
Collaborates across organizational boundaries, internally and externally with a sense of mutuality and respect. Consistently engages others in open dialogue, brings out any conflicting viewpoints and incorporates viewpoints into solutions, giving credit where credit is due. Leverages expertise of all team members to ensure successful outcomes. Makes choices and sets priorities with a WBG corporate perspective in mind.
•    Create, Apply and Share Knowledge
Ensures systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners. Is known across WBG in their subject area and is sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others. Seeks mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentors junior staff. Builds networks across the WBG and as part of external professional groups/networks.
•    Make Smart Decisions
Applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG’s strategy. Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long term implications of decisions. Commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.