Colombia is one of the most beautiful, diverse and therefore complex spots on Planet Earth. I was born in Bogota city where I lived until I embarked myself to Germany to pursue my post-graduate studies in 2016.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics double major from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. Following one of my personal life passions, I received a diploma accrediting a minor in Architecture and City from the same university. Once graduated, I had a rapid start in my professional career, working for the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Research Institute of Biodiversity of Colombia. During my time in these institutions, I learned about international and regional cooperation, urban management, land planning, environmental governance and biodiversity conservation.
After this fruitful experience, in 2016 I decided to go back to academia and enrolled myself in the MSc. in Global Change Ecology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. My aim in this masters programme is to take further the intersection of both urban and environmental studies, and to work for a more supportive science-policy interface. Once done with my mandatory courses in 2017, I moved to Berlin to join the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) where I assisted a project on enhancing climate capacities in the Global South.
Eager to learn more about the pressing challenges of urban sustainability in Africa, Asia and Latin America, in January 2018 I moved to Manila, Philippines to assist the Cities Development Initiative of Asia (CDIA), a one-of-a-kind programme led by the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). CDIA’s aim is to bridge the gap between the cities’ development plans and the implementation of their infrastructure investments.
Once back in Germany, I will dedicate myself to writing my thesis on climate change governance at the city-level—most likely to be related to mid-sized Asian cities.
- In 2016, I edited Urban Nature: Platform of Experiences, a book project giving voice to 80 authors scattered in 11 cities across Colombia, and who introduced 40 case studies on urban biodiversity. Check here for a review written by Dr. Ana Faggi in the Nature of Cities blog.
- Urban Nature: Platform of Experiences (Colombia) is listed as one of the top 8 books in Spanish on cities according to the Inter-American Development Bank.
- Urban Nature: Platform of Experiences (Colombia) is listed as one of the 90 books on cities and nature everyone should read.
- Maria Mejia, Contributor–Such is life in the urban tropics, Situated Urban Political Ecology Collective
- Maria Mejia, Contributor–A City of Life: Medellín’s Plan to Protect and Promote Urban Biodiversity, Urbanet: Governance. Urban Development. Decentralisation