Dr Mariana Vidal Merino

Mariana is a senior research analyst in PlanAdapt’s coordination hub based in Dresden, Germany. She shapes PlanAdapt’s research work in view of climate change adaptation and climate risk management.

Mariana has over 10 years of professional experience working on climate change adaptation, sustainable rural development, and natural resource management in the Global South. Her expertise lies in the application of bottom-up, mixed-method approaches to identify and co-generate solutions to complex problems in the land-use sector.

Prior to joining PlanAdapt, Mariana was a consultant and climate change adaptation specialist for CIFOR. As such, she joined the Learning-Oriented Real-Time Impact Assessment (LORTA) programme of the Green Climate Fund, for the impact evaluation design of an adaptation project in Rwanda.  She has also worked for GIZ in Peru, improving sustainable forest management and assisting the national and subnational governments in the development of strategies oriented towards the fulfillment of the country’s mitigation targets.

Having worked intensively in Latin America, Mariana has first-hand knowledge of the manifold of threats to their natural ecosystems. As such, in 2019 she co-founded an NGO called BluoVerda, composed of a voluntary team that donates their time to develop initiatives for the conservation and sustainable management of ecosystems in Latin America. She is also a member of the Technical Evaluation Reference Group of the Adaptation Fund (AF-TERG) and a project officer for the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA).

For PlanAdapt, Mariana has lead-authored the technical paper ‘Climate Justice for People and Nature through Urban Ecosystem-based Adaptation: A focus on the Global South’ produced in the framework of the Urban EbA Working Group of the Friends of EbA (FEBA), coordinated by PlanAdapt and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Mariana holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management from the Technical University of Dresden. Her research focused on the underlying factors that define the vulnerability of farm-households to climate-related hazards; it also explored alternative adaptation pathways in agriculture in the Andean Region. Mariana also holds an M.Sc. in Tropical and International Forestry from the Georg-August Universität, Göttingen.

Mariana led PlanAdapt’s work in the following projects and initiatives:

Mariana has also been the research supervisor for the following Research Fellows supported by the Humboldt Foundation Climate Protection Fellowship Programme: