Conservation International Arlington, VA, USA
Nov 07, 2019Full time
POSITION SUMMARY The Sustainable Landscapes and Seascapes (SLS) Economics Fellow will lead the development of a robust approach to assess the systemic economic conditions that under current conditions drive investment decisions at all relevant scales towards unsustainability in CI’s priority landscapes and seascapes. This information will allow SLS sites to determine the best opportunities to pivot financial flows and incentives to drive a transition in the right direction towards the sustainable use of natural resources. This work is expected to reveal, amongst other things, how national economic development policy and landuse/spatial plans along with financial structures and policy (e.g. access to credit, PES funds, carbon taxes, carbon or ecosystem loss offset mechanisms, subsidies, incentives, fines) might inadvertantly promote short term conversion of natural capital, rather than long-term stewardship of these natural life support systems on which all humanity depends. The Fellow will report to CI’s SLS Lead, which sits within the office of the Executive Vice President. Given the strong links between national policy and economic development, the fellow will work closely with the SLS policy working group led by CI’s Policy Center and the Moore Center for Science’s Ecosystem Values and Accounting program. Additionally, the SLS Economics Fellow will work closely with and inform the work of the Climate Teams/Center for Environmental Leadership and Business’s Climate Positive Jurisdictions Fellow and work led by CI’s Conservation and Finance Division’s Finance Hub and Enterprise Development staff to inform their efforts to develop landscape finance plans and enterprise development in SLS sites. To develop innovative financing mechanisms to fund landscape finance plans the SLS Economics Fellow will work with the SLS Innovative Finance Working Group and to identify ways to channel financing to enterprise, the Fellow will liase with the Conservation Finance Division’s CI-Ventures credit facility. As all SLS sites fall in CI’s Field Divisions, the Fellow will coordinate all field based work with CI’s three Field Divisions, and in areas where work involves indigenous peoples and local communities, the Fellow will work CI’s Center for Communities and Conservation to ensure all work follows CI’s Rights Based Approach and other key tools to ensure appropriate community engagement and outcomes. The Fellow will ensure national economic assessments are coordinated with the Moore Center for Science’s Ecosystem Values and Accounting program. The SLS Economist’s primary duties will be to: 1) Conduct a desktop review of relevant existing approaches to evaluate economic drivers of unsustainable natural resource use at the country or subnational regions, including approaches used by development banks, UN agencies, research institutes, and related institutions. Special attention should be given to those approaches that aim to promote sustainable development; 2) Undertake a preliminary assessment of all 16 SLS sites to determine which would serve as best candidates for deep dive assessments; 3) Conduct deep dive economic assessments in the number of sites as appropriate and resources permit to generate recommendations for the most promising issues on which CI could focus to drive transformative change at scale; 4) Jointly with CI’s Finance Hub and Enterprise Development Fellow, develop Landscape Finance Plans for at least two sites that include the establishment of new enterprises 5) Drawing on the deep dives, develop a robust general methodology that can be applied to all SLS sites; 6) Teach the application of the methodology to other field teams so they can undertake as much of it as possible on their own; and 7) Participate with multidisciplinary teams that sit with business, governments and impact investors to help generate the policy changes, business decisions and investment commitments required to transition SLS sites to sustainability. The role is also part of CI’s Technical Fellowship program, which hosts conservation fellows who work to create dynamic and unconventional approaches to address existing barriers to sustainability and contribute to a shift in how nature is valued. These fellowships provide unparalleled opportunities for intensive focus and achievement at the intersection of climate, conservation, business and technology. The program engages emerging talent to provide fresh thinking and extensive leadership to CI's work around the world. By strategically combining the skills and knowledge of both groups, the fellows are able to expand the breadth of their skills, gain valuable experience in their fields, and find innovative solutions together with CI program staff and local partners. The fellowship is distinguished by four key areas of opportunity: travel, access to resources, professional development and direct participation in CI programs. RESPONSIBILITIES Lead the development of a landscape/seascape economic assessment methodology Develop a detailed conceptual framework for conducting economic opportunity assessments across CI’s diverse portfolio of 16 priority sites. Coordinate internal consultations with other CI teams and divisions to develop the conceptual framework, with particular focus on driving alignment and synergy with CI’s SLS working groups, other technical Fellows, but especially the Climate Positive Jurisdiction and Enterprise Development Fellows, CFD’s Finance Hub, Moore Center’s EVA (NCA) Team, CI’s Center for Communities and Conservation Lead external consultations with peer organizations and partners to develop the conceptual framework Represent and serve as overall point person for all SLS economics and finance focused work as needed Conduct deep dive economic assessments to build, test and refine the methodology in selected SLS sites and produce recommendations to address systemic weaknesses and take advantage of emerging opportunities Identify, in collaboration with all relevant CI teams the best locations for economic assessments within the “sustainable landscape and seascape’ portfolio. With relevant CI teams, carry out the deep dive assessments Support relevant CI teams in developing landscape finance plans for assessed sites Support relevant CI teams in developing blended finance approaches that combine public, private and investment funding that underwrite the costs of transitioning a site to sustainability and through developing ‘green’ businesses. Internal communications and capacity building Participate in SLS Technical Working Groups and other divisional or regional team meetings (as appropriate) to advance internal awareness and co-creation of the SLS economic assessment methodology and work plan Provide training and capacity building materials to staff, as needed Oversee the creation of products/materials such as videos, factsheets, and brochures on the relationship policy, economics, landscape scale business planning and enterprise development relationships and needs to transition SLS sites from their current unsustainable state to sustainability. WORKING CONDITIONS The position is based in Arlington, Virginia Travel time up to 10-15%. QUALIFICATIONS Required Graduate degree in environmental economics or public policy or similar At least 10 years experience in leading natural resource economics research in developing countries Strong publication record relating to evaluating tradeoffs between conservation and development, including projects that include large-scale infrastructure development or other initiatives that result in the transformation or degradation of natural ecosystems Experience with assessing ecosystem service values, development planning and the use of negotiated agreements to incentivize conservation of natural resourches Experience in assessing the relationship between economics and protected areas in achieving large scale conservation success Experience with the use of payment for ecosystem services (PES) and other market and financial approaches to catalyze sustainable production, in particular with respect to coffee, palm oil, fisheries, small-scale agriculture and/or ecotourism Excellent presentation, communications and networking skills Demonstrated experience in working effectively and in line with CI’s Rights Based Approach with indigenous peoples and local communities Able to effectively work in a team across the full diversity of CI’s global organization Experience convening a broad range of individuals Demonstrated track record of working effectively with multicultural, multidisciplinary teams to produce concrete results Excellent oral and written skills in English and fluency in at least one other language where CI’s Sustainable Landscapes and Seascapes Initiative operates, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia Preferred Fundraising experience Large project design and management experience Experience mentoring or training others to improve their research skills relating to natural resource economics and public policy Computer skills including the use of statistical and GIS software relating to economic and spatial analyses Conservation International Values We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization. Passion: We are inspired by nature and cherish the diversity of life in all of its forms. Respect: We respect and trust each other, and we embrace our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences. Integrity: We act with integrity and are accountable for our actions. Optimism: We are optimistic about the future of life on Earth and are confident that, with our partners, we will achieve unprecedented conservation results. Courage: We tirelessly pursue our vision, taking bold action and persevering through challenges. Teamwork: We work together, recognizing that openness, collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all. Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled Remember to say you found this opportunity at EnvironmentalCareer.com !