Scaling-up Nature-based Solutions in Latin America

Thank you for participating in this Special Seminar!

Watch the recording of the session here.

Scaling-up Nature-based Solutions in Latin America

Thank you for participating in this Special Seminar

On February 23, 2023, we co-hosted this special seminar to bring together Cornell faculty, scientists and students, international fellows, experts from Latin America, and finance specialists to find joint solutions for challenges on climate change, biodiversity conservation, water, infrastructure, and financing.

The objectives of the seminar were to:

  • Promote opportunities, experiences, and successful practices in creating links between biodiversity, water, infrastructure, and financing.
  • Synergize the expertise of the Coastal Solutions Network, alongside Cornell experts from multiple fields, and external collaborators. 

The seminar was co-hosted by the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell Department of Landscape Architecture, Cornell Global Development, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, the Atkinson Center for Sustainability, Adaptation Latin America, and the Inter-American Development Bank. 



Poster Session


Sergio Campos

Water and Sanitation Division Chief / Inter-American Development Bank

Sergio I. Campos G. is the Water and Sanitation Division Chief at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington D.C. He is responsible of the drinking water, sanitation, water resources management and solid waste portfolio which accounts to approximately USD 9,000 million in 100 projects in the IDB’s 26 member countries. In addition, he manages the Spanish Water and Sanitation Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean (USD 1.1 billion) and the AquaFund, a multi-donor fund for technical cooperation. He has led the design and implementation of initiatives and special programs with strategic partners in areas such as behavioral change, green infrastructure, and recycling, among others. In addition, he oversees the application of AquaRating, an assessment tool that evaluates the performance of public utilities; and Hydro-BID, a hydrological simulation tool that has mapped water availability in more than 280,000 watersheds across Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining the Bank, Mr Campos led the structuring of large water and sanitation infrastructure programs with sovereign guarantee and worked on structuring merger and acquisition projects in transport, energy, water and sanitation and telecommunications, as well as in reengineering projects, business consulting, and microfinance. 

Josh Cerra

Department Chair, Landscape Architecture / Cornell University

Josh Cerra’s teaching and research investigate relationships between urban ecosystems, communities and site development processes, and their implications for climate-adaptive design and urban ecological design. He is principal investigator for the Climate-adaptive Design program with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and co-principal investigator for the Cornell Climate Change Garden Installation with the Cornell Botanic Gardens and the YardWorks Project with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. His studio-based efforts have received award recognition from the national American Society of Landscape Architects, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, and Cornell.

Edgar Mora Altamirano

Director, Center for Transformative Action / University for International Cooperation, Costa Rica

Edgar Mora is the Director for the Center for Transformative Action at the University for International Cooperation in Costa Rica and formerly a Senior Design Strategist at Gensler Latin America. He earned his Master of Public Administration from Harvard University and is also an Urban Planner and Journalist. He was Mayor of Curridabat on three occasions (2006, 2011, 2016) and Minister of Public Education in Costa Rica. He is founder of Champion Mayors of the OECD for Inclusive Growth Initiatives and Founding Advisor of the Smart LATAM Alliance. During his administration, the Municipality of Curridabat completely changed the planning paradigms for social, economic, and environmental development, and consolidated an innovative regenerative plan for the city, called Sweet City, which earned him several international awards and recognitions. During the pacification process in Central America, between 1994 and 2005, he worked extensively as a defender of human rights and democracy in the region. He also worked as a consultant on the issues of violence prevention, reform of the justice system and promotion of the culture of peace.

Diana Ulloa

Hubert H Humphrey Fellow at Cornell University / Co-Founder of Adaptation Latin America

Diana Ulloa, from Ecuador, is a Hubert H Humphrey Fellow at Cornell University. Water Engineer with experience in water management, especially for national and local governments. Consultant and advisor for public and community water services such as irrigation and water utilities. Her expertise includes climate change and water, ecosystem-based adaptation, hydrological models, and water conservation. Diana is a water activist in Ecuador Water Network (Red Agua Ecuador).

Johann Delgado

Coastal Solutions Fellow and PhD student at Cornell University / Co-Founder of Adaptation Latin America

Johann Delgado is a Colombian researcher with interest in coastal climate adaptation and the hydrodynamics of mangrove ecosystems. Johann is a Coastal Solutions Fellow and a Fulbright Ph.D. Student in Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology at Cornell University. He is cofounder of the NGO Adaptation Latin America. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and an MSc. in hydraulic resources.

Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta

Director of the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program / Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta joined the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 2018 to direct the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program. He obtained his BSc in Environmental Engineering and Marine Sciences and his MSc and Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Arizona. He has been working in conservation and research projects since 1997, in particular in coastal and riparian areas along the Pacific Flyway of Latin America. His activities include the evaluation and recovery of protected species, the design and implementation of policy and market mechanisms for conservation, and the creation of partnerships with governments and stakeholders for the protection of nature.  He has been leading the efforts to restore the Colorado River delta during the past 25 years, including the recovery of river flows and the facilitation of binational negotiations between Mexico and the US for the sustainability of the Colorado River Basin. 

Diana Ochoa

Program Coordinator for the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program / Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Diana is an ecologist from Ecuador who has developed professionally in environmental project management and science communication, running successful research projects in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador and large reforestation programs in London, UK. She currently coordinates the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, building capacity for the conservation of priority sites along the Pacific Flyway of Latin America. Focused and dedicated to conservation for over 15 years, Diana has also worked in fundraising and grants management for WWF-UK supporting bat and mammal conservation in Belize, Brazil, Uganda and Nepal. 


The event was convened on February 23 from 9 AM to 1:30 PM (USA EST) at the Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room. This included a seminar with presentations from a panel of experts (9:00 AM – 11:30 AM) and a poster session (11:30 AM – 1:30 PM). The agenda was:

9:00 AM 11:30 AM Special Seminar Presentations
9:00Welcome and introduction to the Special Seminar. Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta, Director of the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
9:10Nature-based solutions for resiliency and adaptation in Latin America. Johann Delgado , Cornell Coastal Solutions Fellow, Cornell PhD student in Environmental and Civil Engineering, and co-founder of Adaptation Latin America. Diana Ulloa, Cornell Humphrey Fellow and co-founder of Adaptation Latin America.
9:25 Keynote Presentation «Water security in Latin America: challenges and opportunities for Nature-based Solutions». Sergio Campos , Water and Sanitation Division Chief at the Inter-American Development Bank
10: 00Break
10:10Design for climate adaptation and wetland conservation along the Hudson River. Josh Cerra, Department Chair, Landscape Architecture, Cornell University
10:25Designing cities for nature and people, experiences from Latin America. Edgar Mora Altamirano, Director, Center for Transformative Action, University for International Cooperation, Costa Rica
10:50Panel on challenges and opportunities for scaling-up nature-based solutions in Latin America, moderated by Diana Ochoa, Program Coordinator of the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
11:30End of the Seminar
11:30 AM 1:30 PM Poster Session, Networking and Lunch.

Poster Session

As part of the seminar, hosted a poster session to discuss the different strategies in which Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are being implemented for conservation, sustainability, resiliency, and adaptation across Latin America, with posters from the Coastal Solutions Fellows, Cornell scientists and students.

If you have any question, please contact us:

Coastal Solutions Fellows Program

Programa de Becarios para Soluciones Costeras

El Programa de Becarios para Soluciones Costeras construye y apoya a una comunidad internacional para diseñar e implementan soluciones que abordan los desafíos costeros a lo largo de la Ruta Migratoria del Pacífico. Nuestra meta principal es conservar los hábitats costeros y las poblaciones de aves playeras mediante el desarrollo del conocimiento, los recursos y las habilidades de profesionales latinoamericanos, y el fomento de colaboraciones entre diversas disciplinas y sectores.