November 2023 Webinar - Ramsar Convention Implementation in Coastal Wetlands of the Caribbean
Thursday, November 16, 2023 (1:00 PM - 2:00 PM) (EST)
Monthly webinars are offered as a benefit of membership. Once each quarter, in March, July, September, and December, the monthly SWS webinar is open for non-members to attend (and at no cost), as well.
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat, signed in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, is an international agreement promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Despite the socioecological importance of coastal wetlands in the Caribbean, and the widespread adoption of the Convention in the basin, these systems, and the effectiveness of their management and governance, remain understudied in the region. This talk presents the findings of my dissertation examining the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Caribbean coastal wetlands in several countries to examine the political, economic, and sociocultural context of decision-making. Specifically, it will explore (1) gaps between Convention expectations and national, subnational, and site-level policies; (2) the scalability of blue carbon as a financing mechanism in Ramsar sites; and (3) the structure of decision-making networks. Developing a deeper understanding of the influence of these contexts on the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in the Caribbean is critical to safeguarding the ecological character and wise use of these coastal wetlands.
Speaker: Steffanie Munguía
Steffanie Munguia is a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University, pursuing a doctoral degree in Earth System Science with a concentration in Natural Resource Science and Management.
Her dissertation research focuses on evaluating the implementation of the Ramsar Convention, an international environmental agreement for the conservation of wetlands, in coastal wetlands of the Caribbean. Born in Puerto Rico to Cuban and Puerto Rican parents, Steffanie has actively pursued opportunities to work in the region, including earning a Master’s degree in International Environmental Policy with a concentration in Spanish. She credits her interest in protected areas to her parents, who would strap her into a baby sling when she was only a few months old to visit El Yunque National Forest. After moving to Florida, they kept up this passion for the outdoors with camping excursions to local national and state parks.
Steffanie also dedicates much of her time to service to various environmental nonprofits, where she primarily provides education and outreach programming for youth and underrepresented communities, voices often excluded from conservation conversations. Through this work, she has witnessed firsthand the importance and challenge of building equity, diversity and inclusion in the sciences.