Local recruitment: Environmental Specialist

The World Bank
Zagreb, Croatia
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


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Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally. 

The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


Sustainable management of environment, natural resources and blue economy potential 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.  Promoting a green, clean, and resilient world where natural resources – from forests to fisheries, freshwater, oceans, coastal zones and ecosystems – are well managed is needed for better livelihoods and strong economies. Such a world would be also 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 and Blue Economy (ENB) Global Practice (GP) has been set-up to deliver on the opportunities, benefits and outcomes offered by enhanced management of the environment and land-based and marine natural resources. The ENB GP has around 300 operations under management, representing $7 billion, and a growing pipeline of new investments under active development.

The Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice has two key 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 (“Blue Economy”); and (iii) Pollution Management and Environmental Health, with a view to promoting circular economy. The GP’s activities also include a focus on Clean, Green and Resilient Growth through its work on environmental economics, green growth policies and finance, 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 a large part through the implementation of the Bank’s environmental policies, such Safeguards Policies for investment projects with concept notes approved before October 1, 2018 and Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) for all other investment projects. 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.

ENB GP consists of 10 regional units mapped to 6 world regions and one global unit based in Washington DC. ENB GP is part of the Sustainable Development Practice Group. SCAEN, the ENB GP unit in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Sustainable Development, is seeking to recruit an Environmental Specialist to be based in Zagreb. The Environmental Specialist would have technical background in pollution prevention or/and natural resource management, environmental assessment and management, green growth policies, and/or climate change adaptation and mitigation. The selected specialist will report to the Practice Manager of SCAEN, located in Washington DC, and will join a team of about 30 staff, half of which are based in various ECA countries. The specialist will also work closely with the World Bank Country Manager for Croatia and WB staff and consultants based in the Bank’s Zagreb office (about 30). 

The technical specialist will mostly work on Croatia  but will also provide support to others technical teams and will be asked to travel and work in ECA with a focus on two Country Management Units (CMUs)  in ECA, the European CMU (covering 27 MS but especially active in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Croatia) and the Wester Balkan CMU (covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia).

Role & Responsibilities:

The Environment Specialist will work on ENB operations, analytical work, and environmental risk management.
As part of the operations and analytical work, the Environmental Specialist will:
• Engage in environmental policy dialogue with Croatia's government and other stakeholders, with a focus on pollution, management and transition to circular economy, nature protection and landscape productivity, blue economy development, environmental risk management, climate resilience and green growth;
• Contribute to or lead the development and implementation of ENB operations, technical assistance, or analytical work in Croatia and possibly other ECA countries,
• Participate as a team member or team leader in the development and/or supervision of implementation of environmental activities /components in multi-sectoral projects; 
• Contribute to/lead in-depth technical assessments of environment management issues in Croatia and possibly other countries of ECA region, including review of sector policies, strategies, and legislation, in some of the following areas: pollution management and transition to circular economy, climate resilience, sustainable forest/landscapes management; coastal/blue economy development; green growth policies and finance; 
On environmental risk management, the Environmental Specialist is expected to provide conceptual, operational and technical support on environmental safeguards under the respective World Bank policies and the new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) for the World Bank financed projects, including: 
• Provide guidance and technical support for the screening of Bank projects for environmental impacts and vulnerabilities, assess an environment risk category/level, and identify risk management opportunities/strategies;
• Guide the borrower/project implementation agency in preparing the necessary ESF instruments and review them for quality; 
• Monitor compliance of project-financed activities with safeguards policies or ESF, as appropriate; 
• Seek and develop opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and climate considerations (including climate “co-benefits”) in various lending operations; maintaining regular dialogue with the client and enhancing their capacity for understanding and compliance with World Bank environmental policies;
• Contribute to analyzing and disseminating lessons learned and best practices from applying ESF in specific World Bank projects for knowledge and learning purposes.

As a staff member of the ENB GP, ECA Sustainable Development, and the Zagreb Country Office, The Environment Specialist will: 
• Facilitate and maintain effective communication with relevant communities of practice inside and outside the World Bank Group, including NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations.  In particular, active participation in communities of practice and global level technical innovation and knowledge sharing in the ENB thematic areas will be an important component of this position;
• Keep abreast of research and development knowledge in the environment and natural resources sector;
• Coordinate and carry out other tasks as requested by the relevant Practice manager; for example, organizing training or knowledge sharing events;
• Represent ENB GP in relevant Bank-wide initiatives, represent the Bank in donor meetings on the environment, and promote knowledge generation and dissemination within the region and beyond; 
• Regularly complete all project-related reporting requirements in the Bank system and provide project-related synopsis to Management as required;
• Contribute to activities and initiatives of the Zagreb office, as needed, raising profile of the environmental sustainability and climate change agendas within the office and the country.

Selection Criteria

• Advanced degree (Master’s or equivalent) in environmental policy, economics, science, natural resources management, environmental or civil engineering, or other relevant disciplines.
• A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience as an environmental professional particularly in the field of pollution and/or natural resource management and /or climate change, including both sector-wide policy review and project-specific experience. Experience in environmental impact assessment will be an advantage.
• Knowledge of EU legislation, strategies and directives.
• Good analytical skills, ability to think strategically, analyze and synthesize diverse qualitative and quantitative environmentally-related data and information.
• Ability to manage and follow up on multiple work-streams simultaneously.
• Ability to work well with a range of stakeholders, including project -affected parties, government officials, non-governmental organizations / civil society, development partners as well as project investors.
• Familiarity with World Bank’s policies and instruments, including safeguards policies, ESF and/or IFC’s Performance Standards /MIGA Environmental and Social policies or similar standards would be an advantage. 
• Ability to communicate ideas clearly and confidently, articulate issues and recommend solutions.
• Excellent verbal and written English and Croatian skills are essential.
• 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.
• Ability and willingness to travel frequently within and outside Croatia is required.

Bank competencies for Environmental Specialists, including ESF

• Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions 

Has a solid understanding of the environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations needed to support development and for the success of the project. Knows the client's strategy and structure, and can assess impact on the project. Can credibly and effectively engage with a range of institutions to support project outcomes. Explains to clients and other stakeholders the risks to the project when environmental laws and regulations are deficient or not enforced. Supports client efforts to address such weaknesses.

• Environmental Sciences 

Has direct experience in the environmental sciences, including deeper experience in at least one area. Has extensive experience with applying this knowledge to projects, studies, and other deliverables. Develops novel approaches to mitigate risk or overcome difficult challenges. Has experience applying this knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.

• Communication:

Has ability to translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies. Interacts with clients at the policy level, and organizes and manages policy development initiatives in collaboration with other development agencies and donors. Ensures consistency and conformity to Bank standards.
• Mentoring and Developing People:

Builds informal mentoring network within own immediate work unit, and proactively provides mentoring and coaching to others within team or in other departments. Assists with onboarding of new Bank staff (including any specific onboarding programs). Contributes to training exercises. Manages behavior to have a positive impact on others.

• Due Diligence:

Demonstrates understanding of the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework and applies the Framework to identify and address environmental issues and risks. Works independently to undertake environmental due diligence and provides input to the project team on environmental 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 issues/risks, and actively participates in discussions with clients on environmental/pollution and other project matters, as appropriate.

• Portfolio Monitoring:

Leads the monitoring of the project performance for ENB projects and environmental performance of assigned projects from other GPs. Anticipates potential issues and formulates corrective plans for identified problems. Engages effectively with clients and leads discussions on project/environmental matters.