Local hire: Senior Environmental Specialist

Yaounde, Cameroon 🇨🇲

Background / General description:

1- Background:

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 World Bank’s Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice for Africa (GENDR/AFR) 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 the Global Practice on Environment and Natural Resources, one unit covers West and Central Africa and Indian Ocean islands (GEN07) and the other covers Eastern and Southern Africa (GEN01). These two units develop and manage operations in a variety of areas such as natural resources management, coastal zone management, forestry, pollution, landscape and terrestrial and marine natural resources. In addition, these units, like other GENDR units in other regions, are in charge of providing environmental safeguards services across all sectors and projects.
More specifically the mission of the GEN07 unit 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 the following seven Country Management Units: Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal (AFCF1); Guinea, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo (AFCF2); Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Mali (AFCW3); Nigeria (AFCW2); Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe (AFCC1); Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (AFCC2); Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles (AFCS2).

Considering that most of the projects developed in the different sectors covered by the World Bank’s activities carry significant environmental and social impacts, the GENDR units contribute specialized staff for ensuring that environmental safeguards are addressed in an efficient and credible manner.  This safeguards due diligence is very important and based on the requirement that the preparation and implementation of activities financed by the World Bank must comply with its ten safeguards policies. In addition to and consistent with these safeguards policies, particular attention has to be given to the disclosure requirements regarding the safeguards instruments prepared in the context of both projects preparation and implementation.

The Bank manages funding from a variety of sources, including the International Development Association (IDA), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and a variety of trust funds addressing cross-cutting themes such as carbon finance and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest carbon stock conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). Bank task teams blend funding from these various sources to provide programmatic support to client countries.


AFCC1 is the Country Management Unit (CMU) within Africa Region that covers the World Bank’s operations and portfolio in five countries in Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Sao Tome & Principe. The Country Director and Sr. Operations Officer for AFCC1 are based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, with a Country Program Coordinator (CPC) based in Washington DC. Collectively, together with the two Country Managers (CMs) and the three Program Leaders (PLs), they provide strategic direction for, and oversee implementation of, the partnerships set out in the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Frameworks for the five AFCC1 countries, including the program of analytical activities, Reimbursable Advisory Services as well as Trust Funds, in close collaboration with IFC and MIGA.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will ret

Duties and Accountabilities:

The Bank is recruiting a Senior Environmental Specialist to support a number of African countries in the preparation and implementation of lending operations and ASAs in coordination with governments, donors and other stakeholders particularly in the areas of environmental management, pollution and safeguards. The staff will be based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, but could also serve in neighboring countries. More specifically the staff to be hired will be expected to:

Safeguards due diligence: in support of projects (mainly environmental category A and B) in different sectors:

• During project preparation:
    Identify which of the Bank’s safeguard policies will be applicable and which safeguard instruments are best suited to comply with these policies;

    Assist the borrower/project implementing agency in preparing these instruments, review them for quality and present them to sector management and/or the Africa Regional Safeguards Secretariat for approval;

    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 implementing agency to ensure proper understanding of the policies;

    Help the borrower/implementing agency apply the safeguards policies effectively through his/her participation to training and other capacity building initiatives.

• During both preparation and implementation:
    Go beyond narrow policy compliance to look for opportunities to improve the environmental outcomes of the project s/he is supporting;

    Work closely with the Social Safeguard Specialist assigned to each operation, and provide back-up support as required.

• Serve as the AFCC1 Environmental Safeguards Focal Point, coordinate safeguards assignments, develop and deliver safeguards training tailored to the AFCC1 group of countries.

• Contribute at the corporate level to knowledge sharing in the area of safeguards implementation.

Environmental projects development, implementation and support:

• Lead the environmental sector dialogue for selected countries  to be agreed upon with management and encourage upscaling of ongoing sector support programs through collaboration with other development partners in the Development Partners Sector Working Group;

• Participate, as agreed with management, in country team discussions and contribute to strategic documents (Systematic Country Diagnostics, Country Partnership Frameworks, etc.);

• In Cameroon and the Central African Republic, serve as Task Team Leader or member for forest-related operations, including the (i) REDD+ Readiness project funded by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF); the GEF-funded Ngoyla Mintom Project, the preparation of the National Investment Plan funded the Forest Investment Program (FIP) and Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI); preparation for result-based payments funded by the FCPF Carbon Fund; and the a study on Rural Community-Based Land tenure Models;

• Support other operations in forestry, pollution, coastal zone management and contribute towards the development of proposals for IDA and or GEF/Trust Fund financing;

• Contribute at the corporate level to knowledge sharing particularly in the area of safeguards implementation and share experience through participation to workshops, brown-bag lunches, thematic groups meetings, etc.



• 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: soil science; water; ecosystems; 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 Senior Environmental Specialist:

• PhD or Master’s degree or equivalent academic qualification in a relevant discipline, e.g., environmental science, environmental engineering, environmental economics, biology, etc.

• Minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in the environmental sector, including proven experience in assessing environmental impacts of large infrastructure projects and pollution related projects;

• Good knowledge of environmental legislation and institutions in African countries in general, and AFCC1 countries in particular;

• Experience with the application of the World Bank’s environmental safeguards policies;

• Familiarity with social safeguards issues (particularly field experience with involuntary resettlement) will also be an advantage;

• Ability to work, as part of multidisciplinary teams based in multiple locations, on diverse and complex tasks;

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

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

• Capacity to solve problems rather than merely identify them;

• An ability to think innovatively and negotiate effectively;

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

• Willingness to travel within the whole Africa region, as well as internationally as necessary.