Senior Environmental Economist
The World Bank - Washington, DC

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The Agriculture and Environmental Services (AES) Department was created in the Sustainable Development Network of the World Bank in 2012 following the Rio+20 conference to support a holistic approach to development by addressing complex cross-sectoral challenges faced by client countries and breaking out the traditional silos to help client countries manage entire systems and spaces as one. The department ensures close coordination between agriculture and forestry, fisheries and oceans, natural resource management and agricultural risk management, natural capital accounting, biodiversity, and rural policies. The department includes several practice groups: sustainable landscapes and oceanscapes, agriculture and environment economics and policy, risk management and markets, and the overall departmental cross-cutting team.

The Agriculture and Environmental Services Department of the World Bank is currently seeking a senior environmental economist to join the Policy and Economics team of the department to support the implementation of the Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) program.

WAVES is a 5-year, $15 million partnership to support partner countries to achieve sustainable development by systematically integrating values for natural capital in their national accounts systems, and, through the national accounts, mainstream natural capital valuation in both macro-economic indicators that monitor development progress, and natural resource management. WAVES is being led by the World Bank in partnership with UNEP, UNDP, UN Committee of Experts on Environmental Economic Accounting, interested developing and developed countries, NGOs and other organizations. Partner developing countries include Madagascar, Botswana, Philippines, Costa Rica and Colombia. Partner developed countries (funding their own work) include Australia, Canada, Norway, France, UK, and the Netherlands.

The Partnership has four components: (i) implementation of natural capital accounting in selected countries; (ii) incorporation of natural capital accounts in policy analysis and development planning in partner countries; (iii) development of an international methodology for ecosystem accounting for the UN’s revised Handbook for the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting; and (iv) promotion of the adoption of natural capital accounting beyond the pilot countries. WAVES has established a Policy and Technical Experts Committee (PTEC) to carry out the third component.

WAVES uses the framework of the System of Environmental–Economic Accounting (SEEA). The Central Framework of the SEEA was adopted as an international statistical standard by the United Nations Statistical Commission in February 2012. A second volume of the SEEA, Experimental Ecosystem Accounts, is under development and provides the basis for WAVES’ work on ecosystems. WAVES is also an integral part of the 50/50 Natural Capital Accounting Initiative to bring the public and private sectors together on a global stage to endorse collective action in support of natural capital accounting and to scale up implementation.

Duties and Accountabilities:
The Senior Environmental Economist will be part of the Policy and Economics Team of the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department in Washington, DC. S/he will lead a section of the WAVES program, and coordinate with WAVES work in the country and with other members of the department. The work program of the Senior Environmental Economist will be in the following areas, which should be considered indicative:
1. Leading the technical work on Policy and Technical Experts Committee from the World Bank side on
a. Economic valuation: lead the development and testing out of methodology for ecosystem accounting and valuation with PTEC members and other partners in selected case study sites (to be determined);
b. Policy applications: lead the development of a body of evidence to demonstrate the policy applications of Natural Capital Accounting;
c. Contribute to the dialogue within the World Bank Group on wealth accounting and environmental valuation;
d. Represent WAVES for the World Bank at selected international technical meetings on environmental economics and development, valuation of ecosystem services, biodiversity and related topics;
e. Represent WAVES for the World Bank at technical meetings for environmental accounting under the UN Committee of Experts on Environmental and Economic Accounting where contributions to the SEEA will be made.

2. Provide technical support, training for capacity building, and quality control
a. Work closely with WAVES partner country teams to help design and implement the policy analysis and valuation components of their work plans, particularly the ecosystem accounting components. WAVES partner countries will be implementing ecosystem accounting and will need some external technical assistance, and quality control;
b. Provide technical training courses in environmental valuation both internal, for Bank staff, and external for WAVES countries and at regional workshops.

3. Support NCA Initiative activities including
a. Conduct training activities for policy and valuation at regional and country workshops, and help countries identify policy priorities;
b. Coordination with major UN partners (UNEP, UNDP, UN-DESA) who may use other policy platforms to support implementation of NCA, such as the Green Economy program, TEEB, or the implementation plan for the SEEA (UN Statistics Division);
c. Coordination with related efforts by Multi-lateral Development Banks and other organizations.

Selection Criteria:
  • Advanced degree (PhD degree preferred) in environmental economics;
  • Demonstrated record of work to inform policy dialogue through analytical work on environmental economics (at least 8 years);
  • Demonstrated leadership capacity in designing and implementing a policy-oriented research program in environmental economics;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with environmental accounting and contribution to best practice;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, with demonstrated ability to make effective presentations to diverse audiences, including high-level government and international officials;
  • Excellent written and spoken English. Ability to communicate in one or more relevant languages is desirable;
  • Self-starter, requiring minimal supervision, and a strong team player.

General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills - Possesses Cross-country knowledge in economic specialty and demonstrates ability to link the macro, institutional, and micro-level behaviors; able to support findings/policy recommendations with credible analysis and tools.

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 - Deep understanding of most of the economic concepts relevant to environment, with significant experience.

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

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 Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

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.

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