Profile: Luisa Ramirez

Luisa has studied and worked in both land and water environments. She has a bachelor’s in Forestry Engineering and a Masters in Marine Sciences. Between 2001-2005 she was involved in mangrove restoration in Puerto Rico. From 2006-2011 she was an associate researcher at the Institute of Coastal and Marine Research in Columbia where she worked primarily on projects concerned with conservation and marine biodiversity.


Luisa began her submission with a quote from a 2009 issue of the journal Coastal Management in which the authors stated “Recent policy and practice recognizes that links between ecological and social systems determine the outcomes of the implementation of conservation strategies and underscore the need to acknowledge the rights of local communities and their role in conservation and sustainability. She follows that theme in the title chosen for her PhD dissertation in the department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfred Laurier University “Governance and Social-ecological Interactions: Advancing Top-Down Approaches and Engaging Local communities to Enhance Marine Protected Areas in Columbia.”


Luisa is undertaking this research in collaboration with Asopemabe, an association of fishermen and mangrove users in the town of Berrugas-Sucre. Her April to July 2014 fieldwork will be carried out in four Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Province of Sucre on the northern or Caribbean coast of Columbia. The four areas chosen correspond to different MPA governance and management situations (centralized /no-take, decentralized/no-take, decentralized/multiple-use, and private/multiple-use), but similar ecological and social characteristics facilitate comparison among them.

Ramirez Midterm Report (pdf
Ramirez Final Report (pdf)
Ramirez Thesis: Phd 2017, Wilfrid Laurier University
“Marine protected areas in Columbia: reconnecting social,
ecological, and policy aspects through a governance perspective”