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Vacancy #:   5198
Unit:   Economic Knowledge Unit
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   IUCN Washington DC Office, Washington D.C., United States of America
Reporting to:   Chief Economist
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   25 November 2019
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (12 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   15 November 2019
This position offers a range of opportunities to contribute to economic analysis of the conservation and management of nature at IUCN and to engage with and be recognized as a leader among a wide range of partners at both the national and international levels. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization with more than 1,200 member organizations including 200+ government and 900+ non-government organizations, almost 11,000 voluntary scientists and experts in some 160 countries, more than 1,000 staff in 45 offices, and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.
The Economist works in the Economic Knowledge Unit (EKU) led by IUCN Chief Economist. The main tasks of the Economist include applied research, project management, drafting of reports, proposals and publications, application of economic tools and providing economic insights throughout IUCN programmes and projects.
The Economist will contribute to the application of economic tools and thinking (ecosystem valuation, cost benefit and opportunity cost analysis, macroeconomics, behavioral economics, land use economics) to issues affecting biodiversity and ecosystems and their management and decision support to private and public sector with respect to the management of ecosystem dependencies and impacts. Special emphasis of the Economist is to provide technical capacity and expertise on resource and environmental economics in the following areas:
•Manage and contribute to the development of a global database of the economic value of forest ecosystem services to evaluate forest wealth, potential forest rents, and net forest depletion
•Manage and contribute to the assessments of ecosystem service valuation and accounting, empirically and conceptually
•Support and develop assessments of economic impacts of nature conservation and restoration
•Support and develop economic analyses, tools, and thinking by EKU in other areas as needs and opportunities emerge.

In doing so, s/he will be expected to maintain close working relations with the relevant specialists at IUCN and partner organizations, including the World Bank, to ensure effective collaboration and integration into IUCN’s policy and knowledge work.

Specific responsibilities:

•Contribute and co-lead the development of a global predictive model of the economic wealth associated with forest ecosystem services, including the following sub-tasks:
oIdentify, review, and synthesize forest ecosystem service value estimates from the current literature to compile a global database
oCompile a global spatial dataset of possible ecological and socioeconomic determinants of the local value of forest ecosystem services
oSupport the development and application of a predictive meta-analytic regression model, including model validation, model selection and the use of machine-learning, to forecast the value of forest ecosystem services
oLead the preparation of a report and databases to summarize the study and its finding
oManage activities with partners and consultants (including the World Bank) on the assessment.
•Contribute to the assessments of ecosystem service valuation and accounting, empirically and conceptually, including managing work underway with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and contributing to IUCN activities related to the revision of the SEEA EEA framework
•Apply economic tools and analysis (including ecosystem service valuation, cost-benefit analysis, input-output and environmental footprint analysis, macro-economics, behavioral economics, land use economics) to inform decision-making in a variety of contexts, e.g., conservation and restoration.
•Draft, present, review, and synthesize technical reports, case studies, journal articles and policy briefs on the results of different economic assessments.
•Provide technical assistance and research on various topics at the intersection of economics, development, policy and the environment.
•Coordinate and support technical and policy meetings on the process and results of economic assessments.
•Provide support and liaise with key partners as agreed.
•Support the development and drafting of project and programs for funding applications.
•Work based on a detailed six month work plan as agreed.
•Participate in periodic calls as required, to update on progress on assigned tasks and related issues.
•Contribute to the development of economic analyses and publications by EKU.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small unit such as EKU, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee's responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group.
  • PhD completed in economics or a related field, with training and expertise focused on environmental and natural resource economics, including conceptual and empirical assessments

• Minimum three years of experience since the completion of the PhD

• Strong training and experience in state-of-the-art econometric and statistical methods, including assessments of ecosystem services and their economic valuation

• Knowledge and experience in ecosystem accounting frameworks (especially SEEA EEA) and incorporation of ecosystem services into them

• Knowledge and experience in economic input-output analyses and their application to environment and natural resources

• Experience in the management and analysis of spatial data using GIS

• Strong skills in econometric and statistical software, especially Stata; other software skills such as R also advantageous

• Evidence of strong written communication skills

• Language skills: English (excellent skills required) , Spanish (plus), other languages (plus)

• Enthusiasm for policy-relevant research on the conservation and management of nature

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.