Nature Positive Solutions for Climate Resilience

Join us on the 4 April for an exciting webinar co-hosted with one of our global partner organisations – Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) with HQ in the USA. This webinar will showcase the innovative work of early career researchers from across the globe, who are developing nature positive solutions to build environmental resilience to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

This environmental webinar will showcase cutting edge research from both industry and academia, as the two pathways join to tackle the biggest challenges of our generation. Our interactive Roundtable sessions will provide an an opportunity for you to get involved by posting questions to inspire topical discussions.

This webinar will help build and grow the global networks of both our speakers and listeners as we open and continue discussions on the free Climate LinkUP platform. Welcome, and don’t forget to join the event discussions in the Climate Adaptation Group on the free Climate LinkUP global platform!

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The final chapter is ours to write. We know what we need to do. What happens next is up to us

Sir David Attenborough

Nature Positive Solutions
1:00pm (UK Time): Welcome address

Webinar hosts:

Zach Clayton: Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Associate, Urban Transformations Team and Climate LinkUP Ambassador, with MSc Environmental Engineering, Stanford University.

Courtney Quinn: PhD Sustainable Hydrogen CDT, NAMI group at the University of Nottingham and QUILL research centre at Queen’s University Belfast, and Climate LinkUP UK Energy Ambassador. 

1:15pm Session 1: Nature Positive Water Solutions
1:15pm: Nature positive solutions for climate vulnerable countries: The Philippines

Paula Valencia, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Senior Associate, Global South Program, Philippines

1:30pm: Can seaweeds be used as nature-based solutions to mitigate poor water quality?

Dr. Mahasweta Saha, senior scientist and a chemical ecologist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), UK

1:45pm: Closing the loop: How California uses water for a sustainable future

Suzy Schadel, Environmental Engineer, ClimateBase Founding Fellow and associate at Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Climate Intelligence Program’s Oil and Gas Solution Initiative, Austin, Texas USA

2:00pm: Mangrove Conservation as a Nature-based Solution (NbS):The case of the Mikoko Pamoja Project

Dr. Amina Juma Hamza, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Mombasa, Kenya and Postgraduate Fellow at Bournemouth university, UK.

2:15pm: COP27, COP15, and beyond: Shaping a blue world together

Ryan Yip Yuk Long, Research Assistant at the Marine Biogeochemical Laboratory at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong. 

2:30pm Roundtable: 'Nature Positive Water Solutions' Q&A discussions
3:00pm Break
3:00pm Session 2: Nature Positive Land Solutions
3:15pm: Elevating indigenous voices in climate solutions

Anpotowin Jensen, Black Hills Campaign Organizer, NDN Collective, South Dakota USA

3:30pm: Scenario planning towards sustainable linear infrastructure and climate adaptation in southern Kenya rangelands

Dr. Tobias Nyumba, School of Environment and Geography, University of York UK, Space for Giants Program and Associate Director for the Dakota Wesleyan University, USA

3:45pm: Collaboration at the nexus of climate, conservation and community

Sachiko Graber, Associate Director for Climate with The Nature Conservancy, Minnesota, USA

4:00pm: Growing to its potential: The value of urban nature to communities, investors and the climate

Jacob Korn, Associate at Rocky Mountain Institute's (RMI) Urban Transformation Team, Colorado, USA

4:15pm: Links between climate change mitigation, adaptation and development in land policy and ecosystem restoration projects: lessons from South Africa

Dr. Nicola Favretto, School of Environment and Geography, University of York, UK

4:30pm: Roundtable 'Nature Positive Land Solutions' Q&A discussions
4:55pm: Closing Remarks
Nature Positive Solutions for Climate Resilience

Event Co-hosts

Zach Clayton

Alongside his teammates on Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Urban Transformation program, Zach helps cities bridge the gap between climate commitment and climate action. To date, he’s quantified the energy and carbon savings from urban nature in stormwater management, pedestrian mobility, and building energy efficiency in six cities around the world. Zach has also worked with Los Angeles and Paris to pinpoint their emission hotspot locations for priority action, and with heavy industry companies in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Southern California to pursue electrification, green hydrogen, and low-carbon fuels alternatives. Before RMI, Zach received his B.S. and M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, and before that, he wanted to play professional basketball—but the growth spurt didn’t materialize, so now he works in urban planning.  

Courtney Quinn
Courtney Quinn

Courtney Quinn is a lead Climate LinkUP UK Energy Ambassador and PhD Sustainable Hydrogen CDT researcher with the Nottingham Applied materials and Interfaces Group (NAMI) at the University of Nottingham,  with collaborative work at the QUILL Research Centre for Advanced Liquid Materials at Queen’s University Belfast. Her PhD aims to address the challenges associated with production of low carbon hydrogen using PEM electrolysers and how these may be overcome through operation at elevated temperatures.  Outside of her PhD Courtney is a keen advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and works towards this through her work as a STEM Ambassador using her chemistry and engineering backgrounds to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics to young people and as a co-chair for Era Skills EDI working group. 

Session 1: 'Nature Positive Water Solutions'

Paula Valencia
Paula Valencia

Paula Valencia is a senior associate and the Philippine country representative at the Rocky Mountain Institute. She leads RMI’s Climate Resilient Cities project and offshore wind market development research in the Philippines. Prior to RMI, Paula was project manager for the Financial Futures Center, where she led the Philippines Grid Modernization Research project and the Global South climate finance consortium for Asia-Pacific. She also served as a program consultant for New Energy Nexus to support rural electrification and solar PV projects in the Philippines by actively engaging with electric cooperatives and startups. Paula started her development career as an energy transition analyst at the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, an international climate and energy policy think tank based in Manila, where she led private sector and international community engagement.

Dr. Mahasweta Saha

Dr Mahasweta Saha is a senior scientist and a chemical ecologist at Plymouth Marine Lab (PLM) UK. Dr Saha has been awarded several prestigious research fellowships to study the chemical ecology of algae and is currently investigating association of pathogenic Vibrio with phytoplankton in relation to waterborne diseases and nature-based solutions to mitigate the problem of poor water quality. She sits on the editorial board of 4 international journals and also serves as a reviewer for the German and Belgium research foundation and > 20 international journals. Dr. Saha is an experienced science communicator and has represented the UK at the European Researchers Night. She is deeply committed to the career development of the next generation of scientists, as supervisor and mentor to students and is an advocate of EDI. She is also an active member of the Athena Swan Charter which strives for gender balance and equality in academia. Most recently, in 2021, Mahasweta won the UK’s Asian Women of Achievement Award in the Science category. 

Suzy Schadel

Suzy Schadel is an environmental engineer, ClimateBase Founding Fellow and Associate at Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Climate Intelligence Program’s Oil and Gas Solution Initiative. Her work focuses on activating climate-differentiated markets and policy via oil and gas emissions accounting, technology, data transparency, and traceability. Before joining RMI, Suzy was an engineering project manager at GHD for water/wastewater engineering projects in California and Texas, as well as for marine-based international environmental impact assessment projects; she also served as program coordinator for GHD’s Sustainability & Resiliency program in North and South America.

Amina Juma
Dr. Amina Juma Hamza

Dr. Amina Juma Hamza is a research scientist at the Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) Kenya and a postdoctoral researcher at Bournemouth University UK. Her research interest is in marine resource sustainability assessment, including designing strategies for the sustainable utilization of marine living resources. Amina’s PhD assessed changes in the mangrove forest in and its implications for community livelihood in Kenya. She is also a co-founder of the first and award-winning community carbon offset project in a mangrove forest termed “Mikoko Pamoja” located in Southern Kenya. The project works towards restoring and conserving mangroves for climate regulations, biodiversity conservation and enhancing community development. The success of the project has seen it being replicated in other areas in Kenya and within the Western Indian Ocean Region

Ryan Yip Yuk
Ryan Yip Yuk

Ryan Yip Yuk Long is a research assistant at the Marine Biogeochemical Laboratory at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), with a BSc Environmental Science (Honours) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). His work focuses on investigating the fundamental interactions between the nitrogen and oxygen cycles specifically in Tolo Harbour, a sheltered coastal area located in the northeastern New Territories of Hong Kong. Ryan is  committed to his climate advocacy work locally and internationally. He is a co-founder of ‘Climate Sense’, a climate advocacy group in Hong Kong which champions the comprehensiveness of climate change education in Hong Kong’s primary and secondary schools. He also attended COP27 as an observer on behalf of the CarbonCare InnoLab (CCIL) delegations, partook in negotiations with international organizations such as the European Commission, organized an official side event at the first ever Children and Youth Pavilion, as well as shared findings and his personal journey for his alma mater and news media during and post-COP27.

Session 2: 'Nature Positive Land Solutions'

Anpotowin Jensen
Anpotowin Jensen

Anpotowin Jensen is from the Kiyuksa Tiospaye of the Oglala Lakota Oyate. She was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and graduated with a Master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, where she was the first Native woman on Stanford’s Student Global Health Board. As a writer, author, and poet, she interweaves her experiences as an Oglala woman, engineer, and advocate for Indigenous solutions in global health & climate change in her creations. Through her advocacy, Anpotowin has delivered testimony on the United Nations floor that led to formal policy recommendations on Indigenous languages & health from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to the World Health Organization.  

Tobias Nyumba
Dr. Tobias Nyumba

Dr. Tobias Nyumba is a Cambridge University PhD graduate and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Environment and Geography, University of York UK working on the ‘Space for Giants’ conservation Program. He has several years of experience leading science and applied research exploring the nature-infrastructure-people interactions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Tobias is currently an Associate Director for the Dakota Wesleyan University, USA in Nairobi, Associate at the University of Nairobi’s Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and an Advisory Panel Member for the Conservation Evidence’s Mammal Synopsys, University of Cambridge; Lead Author for IPBES Values Assessment and a host of other publications.

Sachi Graber
Sachiko Graber

Sachi (she/they) is the Associate Director for Climate with The Nature Conservancy’s Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota chapter, where she leads the mitigation program. Sachi is responsible for promoting the implementation of renewable energy, identifying policy opportunities to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, and developing support for natural climate solutions. She has co-authored 2 reports on the opportunity for Natural Climate Solutions in Minnesota and North Dakota. Sachi has previously worked with Rocky Mountain Institute and the U.S. Peace Corps. She holds an M.S. from the University of Michigan’s School for Natural Resources and Environment and a B.A. in Physics from Grinnell College.

Jacob Korn
Jacob Korn

Jacob Korn is an Associate on the Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Urban Transformation team, which helps cities around the world simultaneously reduce emissions, enhance urban livability, increase resilience, and advance social equity. His work focuses on developing tools to model the economic and environmental benefits of residential home and transportation electrification. He has also supported projects to quantify the benefits of urban nature and advance land-use reform. Previously, he worked as a transportation planner with the U.S. Department of Transportation leading efforts to support states and cities with managing emerging mobility trends. 

Dr. Nicola Favretto

Dr Nicola Favretto is an interdisciplinary social scientist based at the University of York, School of Environment and Geography. He has a PhD in Environmental Sustainability and experience in mixed-method, multi-level research addressing environmental, economic and policy dimensions of sustainable development across dryland sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Throughout his work focused on addressing complex international development challenges and bridging major science-policy gaps, Dr Favretto has undertaken research and managerial roles across a range of international organisations (i.e. United Nations University, United Nations Development Programme, European Commission). Dr Favretto’s research in developing regions focuses on climate resilient development, sustainable livelihoods and environmental governance

Nature Positive Solutions for Climate Resilience

Ahead of the upcoming 'Nature Positive Solutions for Climate Resilience' global climate adaptation webinar taking place on 4 April 2023, Dr. Jo Maloney, Founder of Climate LinkUP introduced the expert panel presenting at this event and how their knowledge feeds in to their respective sessions. Read on to find out more about our panel of experts and the research they will be presenting.

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