Natural Capital Economist

Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)
Seoul, South Korea
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The Economist will be part of the global Sustainable Landscapes Unit at GGGI’s Headquarters, contributing to refining a systematic approach and methodology with a consistent indicator framework to ensure GGGI Sustainable Landscapes project pipelines tangibly contributes to GGGI’s Strategic Outcomes. The Economist is expected to support country teams conduct multiple sustainable landscapes assessments and pre-feasibility studies of pipeline projects to build the economic and financial case of sustainable bioeconomy and securing healthy natural systems. The Economist will be familiar with existing and upcoming innovative tools and data sources to measure changes in natural capital assets and ecosystem service flows to be built into cost-benefit scenarios and models at project level. The focus of all project sustainable assessments and pre-FS is to generate tangible revenue flows from existing and new markets while ensuring measurable social and environmental outcomes, with reduced climate risks. Project pipelines are those with bioeconomy business models with a built-in package of sustainable cultivation practices, climate smart technologies and solutions to optimize efficiency of value chains to maximize revenue flows. Projects are designed with a landscape approach in forested, agrarian and coastal landscapes and targeted to empower communities/MSMEs to build local and national economies. The environmental economic valuation will be used for quantifying  the financial, social and natural capital returns generated by green inclusive business models in forestry, agriculture, fishery and other bio-based sectors which are dependent on natural, social and financial capital, and show tangible benefits to mitigation, adaptation, landscape restoration, biodiversity targets and the delivery of multiple SDGs.


The Economist collaborates with GGGI’s technical and finance specialists and supports country teams to articulate the value of land and ecosystem management and sustainable resource use, highlighting the multiple benefits of landscape-scale management, restoration and investments to secure healthy natural systems for the benefit of local and national economies. The Economist is expected to work closely with country teams and bring a network of partners in the natural capital accounting, valuation, business and economic platforms. While in-depth research and analytical skills are critical, the position must have an entrepreneurial private sector mindset and be innovative in accessing quality and verifiable spatial and other data sources for rigorous economic analyses. The position must be able to build a bridge between the different schools of thoughts, public & private interests, and bring partners together to reach a common goal.


In this role, the Natural Capital Economist shall:

  • Lead and conduct environmental economic valuation for sustainable landscapes assessment and pre-FS analysis, integrating economic models with  financial costs-benefit analysis derived from sustainable interventions in collaboration with technical, financial and country experts (consisting of staff members and consultants based in different locations);
  • Refine and mainstream a methodology which articulates the financial, social and natural capital returns derived from green inclusive business models using of consistent indicator framework for economic valuation across GGGI’s Sustainable Landscapes portfolio, with particular attention to hidden costs of externalities (floods, landslides, loss of yield from soil depletion, water pollution, loss of pollinators etc.) and lost income opportunities which can be tangibly measured;
  • Able to provide policy and investment recommendations based on the results of economic analyses as a basis for targeted fiscal and policy reform where natural capital can be recognized for its true value, design of economic instruments and identify innovative ways to access finance;
  • Support country teams in creating conducive enabling environment for sustainable commodities and value chains to reach mainstream markets;
  • Effective and efficient management and ability to adapt project cycles in anticipation of multiple challenges and bottlenecks;
  • Be entrepreneurial and innovative and have ability to access spatial and other data from various sources;
  • Independently organize delivery with tight deadlines;
  • Able to show immediate results for further actions on the ground as well as ability to focus on longer term outcomes with regards to natural capital related fiscal and policy reform;
  • Stay abreast on latest developments with regards to natural capital integration into economic models, and natural capital accounts, business sector accounts,  and inter-institutional economic decision-making framework which address climate risks and deforestation and land degradation in forested, agrarian and coastal landscapes;
  • Develop and disseminate knowledge sharing and communication products for replication and scaling internally and externally;
  • Support project management and business development and a range of other activities to support the effective implementation of the Thematic Area;
  • Maintains close communication with other divisions in HQ on relevant topics, expand the program and ensure continued relevance of GGGI within this Thematic Area.


  • Post-graduate education (or equivalent professional experience) in natural resource/ecological economics, conservation economics/finance with experience in bioeconomy sectors and nature-based solutions, forest, agriculture economics and inclusive rural development;
  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience, developing environmental economic valuation which includes natural capital assessments in collaboration with private sector/MSMEs;
  • Track record experience in conducting and writing pre-feasibility assessments in relevant sectors.


  • Experience in sustainable bioeconomy business valuations for forest, agroforestry agriculture and aquaculture-based enterprises and value chains as well as engagements with private sector and financial institutions;
  • Experience and in-depth knowledge in natural capital relevant baseline assessments, econometrics, accounting, scenario development and extended cost-benefit analyses which integrates natural capital indicators in its methodology;
  • Proven capacity to deliver clear and compelling assessments and reports with rigorous analysis, and practical recommendations;
  • An entrepreneurial and innovative mindset on economic approaches and in accessing quality and verifiable spatial and other data sources for rigorous economic analyses;
  • Strong ability to work with a diverse multicultural team for effective collaboration;
  • Network of relevant professional contacts;
  • Experience working on projects in developing countries;
  • Experience in economic modeling of landscape restoration projects is an advantage;
  • Experience in developing funding proposals for international donors an advantage;
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal.


GGGI needs a person who can bring more than knowledge and passion to the role: someone who is innovative, entrepreneurial, has the grit and resilience to do the work. The successful candidate is a skillful facilitator and communicator with an ability to diagnose challenges in an organization and a team, an innovator, a decision-maker, a powerful advocate, and a diplomatic change agent who understands the dynamics and tensions in this kind of diverse, global landscape. S/he should be:

  • Excellent in knowledge development;
  • Able to handle complex multi-stakeholder relationships;
  • Keen on maintaining high degree of professional integrity with a stewardship of public resources;
  • Proactive in providing mentorship and guidance to staff;
  • Able to effectively communicate, listen to others, and create and promote an environment for open communication;
  • Able to work effectively with other teams of a high degree of cultural/ professional diversity;
  • Willing to travel.

This position is subject to funding approval expected on 30 September 2019.