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  • Carmen Lacambra

Probing the Ecological and the Communal with Dr Carmen Lacambra

In this conversation with Matt Hoisch (Assistant Editor, The Scholar), Dr Carmen Lacambra discusses the lessons she has learned over her years working with communities to address environmental crises, including biodiversity loss and climate change adaptation. Read the interview transcript below.

"The one thing we tried to do in our research projects, particularly when we are multidisciplinary and at the same time from different parts of the world, is to ensure that researchers treat these communities as if they were your parents. So, one of the first things that I often tell people is, 'Would you like your mother to live through this?' If you say 'Yes,' then maybe we're doing a good job. But if it's a no, why would you like somebody else’s mother to live through this?"

Slideshow showing initiatives from Carmen's research projects. Photo credit: Carmen Lacambra.

Carmen Lacambra [2005] is a founding partner of Grupo Laera, a consulting company with headquarters in Colombia. She studied biology at Los Andes University in Bogotá and received a Master's degree in Science and Management of Coastal Zones from the University of Hull. As a Gates Scholar in the Geography department, her PhD research focused on the inclusion of the natural environment in vulnerability assessments and the creation of resilience to extreme events in tropical coastal zones.

Dr Lacambra has over 25 years of experience in research, development, training, and evaluation of projects related to the integration of biodiversity in risk management, adaptation to climate change, urban planning, agriculture, and sustainable development. She has directed and participated in global, regional, and local projects in over 20 countries in America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, with agencies including Green Climate Fund, Nordic Fund, UNEP-WCMC, UNDP, The Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington, UN Environment, El Invemar, various universities (Cambridge, Oxford, York, Southampton, Javeriana and Valencia), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and several international development agencies.

Her other experience includes: 47 technical and indexed publications; contributing author and scientific reviewer of the IPCC Report 5; +50 international conferences and talks; mentor of Queen Elizabeth of England's students; member of the technical groups of coastal zones and resilience advising Green Climate Bonds; co-author of the RIOACC initiative; and technical evaluator of Green Climate Fund projects.

Access the podcast transcript here:

Probing the Ecological and the Communal with Dr Carmen Lacambra
Download PDF • 110KB

Music credit: Akerman ft. Coma Svensson | 'Stuck in the Middle' | Courtesy of


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