Senior Environmental Specialist

The World Bank

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬

Background / General description:

Global Practice Context –

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 300 staff across the world plus numerous other staff in other Practices and Cross Cutting SAs that are professionally associated with it.  ENR GP also manages the environmental risk aspects of about 2000 projects in the World Bank’s global portfolio.  About 150 staff work specifically on environmental risk management safeguards.    

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

ENRM activities in East Asia and the Pacific accounts for a substantial part of the ENR Global Practice’s business:

•    delivery of about 10 operations per year, amounting to about $500 million annually
•    an active dialogue on regional issues, such as climate change, coastal and marine economies, improving governance of natural resources, watershed management, pollution management, and wealth accounting and valuation of ecosystem services
•    about 61 active projects in the portfolio, amounting to around $1.8 billion

A key characteristic of the Bank program in the region is a high level of decentralization.  In 2016, 70% of staff is located in the country level offices, and about 60% of operations are managed and led from the country level offices. All environmental risk management safeguards staff are based in country level offices outside of Washington DC.  The underpinning of this decentralization rests on four main pillars:

•    better integration at the field level to provide greater synergies and integrated responses
•    a decentralized management structure supported by regional and global knowledge  
•    provision of faster responses and management decisions to our clients
•    the need to reposition ourselves in the region given the large urbanization and decentralization trend in almost all countries, the need to incorporate better environment dimensions of the fast growth rates and huge demand for infrastructure, and the need to better deal with governance issues and growing income disparities between urban centers and rural areas and lagging regions.

Regional Context

The East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Region presents a dramatic illustration of the global dynamics, opportunities and risks of the 21st century. After making the fastest progress in growth and poverty reduction of any region around the world in the last fifteen years, some countries in the region – such as Mongolia – are poised to become middle-income, and some are preparing to join the small group of high-income countries. Such a rapid transformation is leading to the largest shift in rural-to-urban population in human history, generating rising inequality within and across countries, leaving individuals and regions behind in the dash for prosperity.  Meanwhile, the uncertainty in the advanced economies clouds the prospects for countries across the region which are being forced to adjust to changed growth and development prospects while addressing evolving impacts on macroeconomic stability, employment and poverty.

EAP comprises more than 20 countries, including China, several MICs, LICs, and fragile states (EAP has the second highest number of fragile states amongst all the Bank regions – 6 of 7 are in the Pacific). The Region is characterized by generally rapid growth, both sophisticated and low capacity borrowers, and some highly dynamic sectors. At the same time, EAP countries are faced with weak governance environments. The Bank’s program in EAP is multi-faceted and has grown rapidly in recent years: annual new lending in FY15 exceeded $6.0 billion; the existing portfolio consists of about 250 operations with a value of about $12 billion; and the TF program is significant (with a portfolio of about $1.2 billion).  EAP consists of over 1000 staff with 25% in Washington and 75% based in the country offices in the six Country Management Units.

Unit and Country Context

The World Bank member countries of the Pacific Region (Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu); Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea are important clients for the World Bank.  Six of these countries are considered to be fragile states.  The World Bank’s existing portfolio in the Pacific is about 55 projects with a value of US$1.2 billion.  New lending is about 15 projects with a value of US$360 million per year.  Lending is expected to double in the next 3 years.  The portfolio is heavily focused on infrastructure development, particularly airports, roads, hydropower, solar power, coastal reinforcement; human resource development, particularly health and education; and natural resource management in such areas as fishery and forestry management.   The entire portfolio is focused on the adaptation and risk reduction related to climate change and natural disasters, which are a very serious development challenge for this region.  The Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice provides environmental safeguards and environmental risk management support to the broader World Bank portfolio in the Pacific, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea.  

The Environment and Natural Resource Management Global Practice Unit for East Asia and Pacific, for China, Indonesia and Pacific is managed by a Manager based in Washington DC.   This manager is supported by senior staff who provide day to day technical leadership in their areas of specialization and are responsible for providing technical and quality support for outputs across the region, leading the region-wide communities of practice, connecting staff to international knowledge, leading cutting-edge sector policy and lending work in the region, and mentoring staff mapped to that particular sector on the latest developments in that practice.   In the case of environmental risk management safeguards the manager is supported by a Regional Safeguards Coordinator, based in Bangkok, and a Pacific Regional Safeguards Focal Point based in Sydney, who are responsible for day to day management of safeguards activities.  Most staff in the Environment and Natural Resources Practice are expected to provide at least part-time safeguards support in their area of technical expertise.   About one third of the Environment and Natural Resources Practice staff in East Asia work exclusively on safeguards and environmental risk management.  The regional management attaches particular importance to creating a supportive work environment based on the values of teamwork, transparency, trust and client services, accompanied by professional excellence.  

Note: This is a 3year Term Appointment.  If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a regular or open-ended appointment, s/he will retain her/his regular or open-ended appointment. All others will be offered 3year term appointment, with a reentry guarantee to another position in the Environment Global Practice at the end of the assignment.

This position is an internationally recruited position.  recruited staff are expected to relocate regularly, as is required of internationally recruited staff.

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.


The Senior Environmental Specialist will be based in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and s/he will report to the Environment and Natural Resource Manager in Washington.  For day to day coordination the Environmental Specialist would work under the direction of the Sydney based Safeguards Focal Point.  S/He will work as an integral part of the Pacific and Papua New-Guinea environment and safeguards team.  Being based in Papua New Guinea, the primary responsibility for this position would be for environmental safeguards management of the Papua New Guinea portfolio, but this responsibility would also extend to other countries in the Pacific portfolio, as needed.  There may also be opportunities to work globally on selected tasks based on demand.  S/he would coordinate closely with other Bank staff working across different sectors, countries and regions as needed. The primary responsibility in this position would be to oversee compliance with the World Bank Group’s safeguards policies and environmental risk management framework, thus contributing to building environmental sustainability into project design.  
The Senior Environmental Specialist will have the following key responsibilities as agreed with his/her Practice Manager based on an annual Result Agreement:

•    Work closely with the Safeguards Focal Point in Sydney, Australia who is responsible for assigning safeguards tasks and ensuring quality of the safeguards work in the Pacific Region and Papua New Guinea.

•    Ensure the effective integration of environmental due diligence as defined by World Bank Group Environmental and Social Management Framework, safeguards policies as well as international good practice documents (e.g. Equator Principles) into the design, appraisal and implementation of WBG supported projects (environmental lending portfolio and analytical work).  

•    Provide expert advice to client and counterpart organizations, project teams and WBG management with regard to the preparation of environmental impact assessments, including regional, strategic and cumulative assessments; environmental management frameworks and plans, including plan for monitoring, reporting and evaluation; public consultation plans; and specific plans related to natural habitats conservation, natural resource management, pest management, forest management, dam safety and international waterways management; such advice will be based on  thorough analysis of baseline conditions, project scope and impacts, requirements from national legal and institutional frameworks and, and compliance with the WBG’s operational policies.

•    Provide expert guidance to clients in the preparation of relevant project cycle documentation including terms of reference (ToR) for environmental safeguard instruments, such as environmental and social assessments (incl. strategic, regional and cumulative); environmental and social management frameworks and plans, Pest Management Plan, and supervising their implementation. Provide technical training for the EA practitioners in client countries on the WBG safeguard policies and requirements.

•    Provide environmental input in project documents in accordance with the Bank operational policies including Project Concept Note (PCN), Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet (ISDS), Project Appraisal Document (PAD) and Decision/Negotiations Packages, and assist with managing timely and proper disclosure procedures and public consultation requirements for all required environmental assessment and management instruments.

•    Participate as team member in the development and/or supervision of the implementation of environment or natural resources activities or components in various projects, including participation in identification missions; seeking and developing opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and policies in various investment project operations; maintaining regular dialog with the client and enhancing their capacity for understanding and compliance with on environmental policies; and contributing to mission outputs such as back to office reports (BTORs) and Aide Memoires.

•    Facilitate and maintain effective communication with the local community of practice, including NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations in line with the Bank’s Disclosure Policy and need to harmonize with clients and other international financial institutions in the region.

•    Coordinate all environmental safeguards and enhancement activities within and between projects,   share information with Task Team Leaders (Project Managers), project team members, staff/consultants responsible for projects’ social safeguards management, and other regional staff working on the environmental and NRM agenda, and in particular with the EAP regional safeguards advisor, EAP regional safeguards coordinator and the Pacific safeguards coordinator.

•    Participate in and/or possibly lead natural resource or environmental management projects and the policy dialog with the government and other stakeholders on environment or natural resources aspects relevant to Pacific and the region, including climate change.  This includes coordination with other financiers, review of sector policies, strategies, and legislation.

•    Resolve project related questions from clients related to the interpretation of the Bank safeguards policies, especially the OP 4.01 on Environmental Assessment under the guidance of the Pacific Environmental and Social Safeguard Coordinator, the EAP Region Safeguard Advisor, Regional Safeguards Coordinator and the Region Safeguard Secretariat.

•    Actively seek to learn World Bank Group procedures, and contribute to their improvement, by participating in training offered, by developing a personal training program, keeping abreast of research and development knowledge in the environment and natural resources sector, and relevant safeguard management process. This will become especially important over the coming 1-3 years during the Bank’s transition from the current framework of safeguards policies to a new environmental and social framework (ESF) which constitutes a radical overhaul and modernization of the Bank’s policies, standards and implementation procedures.

•    Coordinate and carry out other tasks as requested by the relevant Manager such as for example, contribute to the organization of training or knowledge sharing events, and help the country office staff with various tasks specific to the management of the office.


In addition to meeting Bank-wide Grade GG level positions (see below), it is expected that the successful candidate will meet the following selection criteria:

The following are required:

•    An experienced Bank Staff member who is well integrated into the Bank’s global safeguards network, and has a well calibrated view of how the Bank’s safeguards policies are applied internationally.  
•    Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in environmental engineering, civil engineering, environmental science or related field, with a strong preference for candidates with good technical training and practical experience in engineering, and experience in environmental risk management related to large scale civil engineering or industrial engineering projects, pollution management, solid waste management, soil, water and groundwater remediation and clean-up, or coastal zone management.  
•    A minimum of 8 years of full-time relevant professional experience in the environment engineering or environmental management sector is required.
•    Knowledge and experience in environmental assessment and management of investment projects involving large scale civil works, extractive or industrial activities would be required, especially experience in the preparation of the Environmental Safeguard documents of the lending projects of the WBG or other international organizations.
•    Field experience in both assessing project site vulnerabilities/risks, as well as supervising/ inspecting/monitoring projects during implementation to mitigate and monitor environmental impacts is required.
•    Demonstrated project management / operational skills and familiarity with Bank procedures and business practices including occupational health and safety management and the World Bank Group safeguard policies is required.
•    Experience working with a wide range of stakeholders, NGOs, international organizations, development partners and government is required.
•    Fluency in English is required (writing, speaking, listening and reading).
•    Proven teamwork and successful experience working with multi-disciplinary teams.
•    A strong sense of team work and ability to work independently with limited supervision.
•    Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
•    Willingness to travel extensively in the Pacific and possibly to other countries is necessary, including to remote rural areas and islands.

The following would be an advantage but not required:

•    Experience working in developing countries like the Pacific and Papua New Guinea, understanding of the institutional and political context and implementation challenges, would be an advantage.

Competencies (Level GG, Environmental Specialist/Environmental Engineer)

Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Translates 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 – Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners.
Integrative Skills – Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.
Environmental Economics -Understanding of fundamental economic concepts relevant to environment.  

Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions – Solid understanding of environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.  

Environmental Sciences – Deep experience applying knowledge (soil science; water; ecosystems; conservation; agriculture concerns, etc.) to policy-related decisions and advice.  

Environmental Engineering – Deep experience applying knowledge in engineering to related environmental engineering and infrastructure projects.  

Natural Resources Management – Broad experience in natural resources management, with ability to apply this knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.  

Environmental Safeguards – Experience successfully applying the environmental safeguard policies to a least moderate risk projects, with minimal supervision.  

Biodiversity – Broad knowledge of biodiversity with ability to apply knowledge to projects and analytical work.  

Environment / Climate / Carbon Finance – Solid knowledge of a wide range of financing alternatives; can propose solutions to most environmental financing needs.  

Project Design for Impact and Sustainability – Investment Lending – Contributes to the design of projects and programs, based on an understanding of the country and sector context.  

Sector Dialogue – Investment Lending – Able to conduct a dialogue with the client on familiar topics, with a narrow scope, based on a solid understanding of the sector.  

Operational Project Management – Demonstrates in depth knowledge and understanding of project management tools & methodologies, resource management, and stakeholder communications.  

Team Leadership – Leads teams to achieve challenging outcomes, providing a role model and enhancing the team-leadership skills of team members.  

Client Orientation – Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.  

Drive for Results – Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.  

Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion – Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.  

Knowledge, Learning and Communication – Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.  

Business Judg