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Jesica Murcia López

Centre for Environmental and Climate Science

About me

I am a PhD student in Sustainable Land Use at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Science, CEC. I’m originally from Colombia, and I’ve been living in the Nordics since 2009. I have a BA in environmental biology at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogotá (Colombia) and a MSc in forest and nature management at the University of Copenhagen. After my studies I’ve gained experience at the private and public sector in Denmark as an ecosystem services consultant at consultancy firm COWI A/S Denmark, as well as an ecosystem service specialist at Climate-KIC Nordic, and finally as research coordinator at the Food and Resource economic department of the University of Copenhagen.

From being involved in a number of projects, I learned (and still learning) the significant importance at intersecting the systems needs behind land use changes such as agriculture and forestry with indispensable mechanisms and measures to support key decision-policy makers. I firmly believe our knowledge, capacity and innovative cross disciplinary collaborations are key to accelerate the shift towards achievement of the sustainable development goals framework. 

About my research project

We are now at a fundamental “tipping point” to support a wider array of social, environmental, and economic benefits from managing land-based natural capital. Therefore, the overarching aim of my PhD study is to improve our systems' approach to understand the mechanisms behind the land use transformation. More specifically, the cumulative effects of extensive cattle ranching activities into tropical forests in protected areas, in order to implement effective and more integrative policies and decision making towards reduction of biodiversity loss and food insecurity in the northwest of Amazon region of Colombia.

My research interests within the SGDs are focused on Goals; Goal 2 on zero hunger, Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production, Goal 13 on climate action, Goal 15 on life on land and Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.