Environmental Specialist

The World Bank


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

On August 4, 2016, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) to help protect people and the environment in the investment projects it finances. This effort is one of several key initiatives, including procurement reform, and the climate and gender strategies, recently undertaken by the Bank to improve development outcomes.

The ESF responds to new and varied development demands and challenges that have arisen over time.  

It brings the World Bank’s environmental and social protections into closer harmony with those of other development institutions, and makes important advances in areas such as transparency, non-discrimination, social inclusion, public participation, and accountability – including expanded roles for grievance redress mechanisms. The framework helps to ensure social inclusion, and explicitly references human rights in the overarching vision statement.

The ESF is made up of the World Bank’s vision for sustainable development, the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy for Investment Project Financing, and ten Environmental and Social Standards (ESS). These set out the mandatory requirements for the World Bank, in relation to the projects it supports through Investment Project Financing (IPF), and for Borrowers.

ENR GP is seeking to recruit an Environmental Specialist with skills in cumulative impact assessment, or groundwater/water assessment, or Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), or toxics/chemicals. The primary responsibility for the tasks are listed below. 

These terms of reference cover several locations, including Cairo, Egypt; Rabat, Morocco; Islamabad, Pakistan; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Yangon, Myanmar; Jakarta, Indonesia; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Kinshasa, DRC; Yaounde, Cameroon; Tirana, Albania; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Yerevan, Armenia and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Locations may vary at the time of hiring. Please specify in your application the locations you would be interested in applying to. For a list of all our Country Offices, click here.

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.
 Duties and Accountabilities:

The Environmental Specialist will be required to undertake the following tasks:

• Provide technical support for the screening of Bank projects for environmental (especially for projects with low or moderate risk ratings), impacts, and vulnerabilities and identify risk management opportunities/strategies including in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and climate change adaptation and mitigation in Bank operations. Understanding and familiarity with existing WBG instruments and procedures is a plus. 

• In accordance with the Bank’s ESF, contribute to the determination of the appropriate E&S risk classification of projects (including projects involving financial intermediaries) taking into account all relevant information such as the type, location, sensitivity and scale of the project, the nature and magnitude of the potential E&S impacts, the capacity and commitment of the Borrower (and any other entities responsible for project implementation) to manage risks and impacts in a manner consistent with the ESSs.  In determining and managing E&S risk, use the ESSs, related guidance and good practice notes, as well as internationally accepted good industry practice for informed decision making,  

• Under the supervision of Senior Environmental Safeguards Specialists and the Regional Safeguards Coordinator, monitor compliance of all project-financed activities, including those relating to associated facilities with the ESSs and the Bank’s Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Guidelines, as well as GIIP (good international industry practice).

• Under the supervision of Senior Environmental Safeguards Specialists and the Regional Safeguards Coordinator, use the ESCP as a key tool to work with borrowers / recipients to effectively assess environmental and social risks, evaluate all relevant information, and recommend solutions to comply with the Bank’s ESF.

• For projects being supported by the Bank’s ESF, using the ESCP as benchmarking tool, monitor compliance with the ESSs including on OHS guidelines, sector specific guidelines, other relevant policies, and contract specific conditions; flag issues of non-compliance to borrower and Bank management and advise and support the borrower in developing and implementing remedies. 

• Contribute to analyzing and disseminating lessons learned and best practices from specific Bank projects for research, knowledge and learning purposes.

• Provide guidance to the borrower on open and transparent engagement (through consultations, information disclosure and grievance redress mechanism) with relevant project stakeholders throughout the project cycle.

• Contribute to developing methodologies and training materials for task teams and borrowers / recipients on the calculation of gross GHG emissions (as required by ESS3); participate in knowledge sharing, capacity building and training activities to improve systematic GHG accounting in WBG financed projects. 

• Contribute to the further development of ESS related guidance and technical support materials, such as guidelines, knowledge materials as applicable.

• Collaborate with World Bank GPs and IFC/MIGA colleagues on joint projects as well as other colleagues from multilateral development institutions when supporting same projects, understanding and implementing a common approach.
 Selection Criteria:

• Advanced degree (Master’s or PhD) in environmental science, natural resources management, environmental or civil engineering, or other relevant disciplines (e.g. applied natural sciences).

• 5+ years of proven, relevant experience (work or applied scientific research) as environmental assessment and management professional.

• Strong analytical skills, ability to think strategically, analyze and synthesize diverse qualitative and quantitative environmentally-related data and information.

• Ability to follow up multiple work-streams simultaneously.

• International experience is an advantage; experience in developing countries / emerging economies is a strong advantage. Ability and willingness to travel frequently, including to developing countries and possibly remote, fragile and conflict affected areas, is required.

• Familiarity with World Bank’s safeguards policies, ESF and/or IFC’s Performance Standards /MIGA Environmental and Social policies or similar standards would be an advantage.

• Ability to work well with a range of stakeholders, including project-affected parties, government officials, non-governmental organizations / civil society, as well as project investors and their staff.

• Sound knowledge of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change GHG accounting methodologies, or similar standards, is an advantage.

• Ability to communicate ideas clearly and confidently, articulate issues and recommend solutions.

• Excellent verbal and written English language skills are essential; French or Spanish or Arabic language proficiency is highly desirable. Knowledge of other languages will be an advantage.

• Good team player who can work as a member of a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team, motivate and lead group efforts and network effectively across boundaries.

Bank competencies for Environmental and Social Standards Specialists


Able to write and/or present in a fluent, business-like manner with minimal supervision. Able to synthesize (both verbally and in writing) complex issues and clearly summarize key points and questions. Understands the need to tailor communication to the audience and can prepare effective supporting documents to facilitate his/her oral presentation on straightforward subject matter. Creates an environment where respect, tact, and consideration for all cultures are used in all communication.

Mentoring and Developing People:

Proactively provides mentoring and coaching to junior colleagues  within team or in other departments. Assists with onboarding of new Bank staff (including any specific onboarding programs). Contributes to training exercises. 

Due Diligence:

Demonstrates understanding of the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework and applies the Framework to identify and address environmental and social issues and risks. Works under the supervision of Senior Environmental Specialists to undertake environmental and social due diligence and provides input to the project team on environmental and social issues/risks with minimal supervision. Proactively determines risk mitigation measures. Demonstrates effective time and resource management skills. Provides effective and timely guidance to clients on environmental and social issues/risks, and actively participates in discussions with clients on environmental and social matters.

Portfolio Monitoring:

Works independently requiring minimal supervision to proactively monitor the environmental and social performance of assigned projects. Anticipates potential issues and formulates corrective plans for identified environmental and social problems. Engages effectively with clients to achieve compliance, and contributes to discussions on environmental and social matters.

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