Economist - Forestry Policy and Management

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Scottish Forestry

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Application Deadline
£35,684 - £38,453

Are you passionate about the environment and greening the economy? Would you like to be part of influential work on how forests contribute to wellbeing and to the country’s Net Zero CO2 emissions targets? These are exciting times in forestry. Come and join Scottish Forestry’s economics team. We currently have a vacancy for a forward-thinking and high profile post in our Edinburgh office. Applications are invited from Assistant Economists within Government or from suitably qualified economists elsewhere.

Scottish Forestry is the Scottish Government agency responsible for forestry policy, regulation, grants incentives, technical forestry advice and new cross-border arrangements. We aim to protect and expand forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment.

This post will provide economic analysis and advice to support forest policy and operations, including the development of new markets in ecosystem services. The post will appeal to an economist, with experience or interest in natural resource management, who wishes to apply economics in practical policy and management settings.

This is a full time post (37 hours per week), however applications from people wishing to work an alternative working pattern will be considered.

Applicants claiming a guaranteed interview will be invited for further assessment should they meet the minimum essential criteria listed below.

Job description

The Economics and Woodland Carbon Code team provides a service across Britain in support of the forestry authorities (Scottish Forestry, the Forestry Commission, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Forest Service). The team ensures that the many outputs of woodlands are appropriately valued and accounted for in policy and decision making. This involves:

Valuation of woodland assets (natural capital) and ecosystem services;
Appraisals and evaluations of policy and operational proposals;
The development of new instruments to encourage investment in forestry (“payments for ecosystem services”).

The team has been instrumental in the development of natural capital accounts, has led the design and management of the Woodland Carbon Code (see and provides analysis on the capacity of forestry to contribute to future GHG emissions reduction targets.

The post is located in an interdisciplinary environment, working with experts on policy, standards and regulations and with social and natural scientists. It involves close working with colleagues (including economists) across the UK’s forestry authorities, and with other parts of government in the Scottish, Welsh, and UK administrations.


Provide economic analysis and advice on forest policy and operations, including the development of business cases and appraisals of new proposals to encourage woodland creation and other priorities;
Conduct evaluations of existing interventions to inform future policy development;
Work with policy and operations colleagues to support the effective delivery of programmes and projects. Topics can be wide-ranging including woodland planting, CO2 emissions removals, visitor services, pest and disease control, and flood alleviation;
Support the development of new mechanisms to increase woodland creation - particularly to meet climate change (GHG) targets - including carbon auctions, emissions trading schemes and innovative finance (e.g. blending public and private finance);
Manage research and analysis to fill evidence gaps, particularly on valuing non-market benefits (see and on the cost-effectiveness of woodlands in delivering ecosystem services;
Contribute to innovative approaches to incorporating economic data into decision-making (e.g. natural capital accounting);
Contribute to strategic work to develop government programmes concerning forestry, land-use and the natural environment;
Increase awareness and communicate the use of economic analysis and advice in Scottish Forestry;
Support the wider work of the economics team as required, including opportunities to gain project management experience;
Maintain and expand relevant networks within Defra and across government, representing Scottish Forestry as appropriate.

Person Specification


Experience of applying microeconomics to policy development and proposals;
Experience of economic appraisal, development of evidence-based business cases, and evaluation;
Proven track record of data analysis and communicating findings to non-economists;
Proficiency in using excel and other relevant software packages;
Experience of applying microeconomics to policy development and proposals;
Experience of economic appraisal, development of evidence-based business cases, and evaluation;
Proven track record of data analysis and communicating findings to non-economists;
Proficiency in using excel and other relevant software packages.

Experience of natural resource economics.

Technical Skills

A degree in Economics (or a degree with at least 50% of the modules economics-related), or a Masters degree in economics.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 16th August 2020


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