Lina leads Conservation International’s engagement in international policy arenas that deal with biodiversity and ecosystem services, particularly freshwater. She leads CI’s efforts in relation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. She works across the institution with CI’s field staff, scientists, and other experts to ensure that biodiversity health and its contribution to human well-being are fully considered in international policy decisions.
She achieves this goal through a combination of targeted scientific and policy analysis, technical and strategic support to national governments negotiating in international policy arenas, guidance for implementation at the national level, and collaboration with other like-minded groups.
Major policy areas that Lina is currently working on include, the U.N. Climate Treaty and the U.N. Biological Diversity Treaty, the newly created Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the UN Watercourses Convention, which provides a framework for the use of shared water resources. Prior to taking on her role in International Policy, Lina spent four years providing strategic planning advice to CI’s Latin America programs.
Lina completed undergraduate studies in environmental science and policy, with a focus on international relations at the University of Florida, studied at the Sorbonne University, Paris and completed her Master’s degree in geography at the University of Cambridge. As a Gates-Cambridge Scholar, she focused on the relationship between environment and development in Latin America.
Lina is a native of Colombia, where she spent several months a year from the time her family immigrated to the United States until her late teens. Her upbringing in Colombia is where her love of nature and awareness of the challenge of development were both nurtured. She is fascinated by the relationship between human society and the natural world that sustains us and the rest of life on Earth. Lina has also lived and conducted fieldwork on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, worked for the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Conservation Training Center, and the U.S. Coastal America program.