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Empowering Communities: Insights from Dr. Nfamara K. Dampha’s Journey in Natural Capital and Climate Resilience

April 25 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am


About the Event:

The seminar unveils Dr. Nfamara K. Dampha’s journey and expertise as a Lead Scientist, originating from a rural village in The Gambia and currently serving as the Program Director of the Natural Capital Project (NatCap) at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. Dr. Dampha is committed to fortifying NatCap’s partnership with stakeholders at local, regional, and global levels, aiming to advance natural capital accounting and ecosystem service valuation for informed decision-making towards a sustainable future for all.

With over a decade of international experience, Dr. Dampha will present his modeling-related with community-engaged research approaches, focusing on climate risk analysis, adaptation planning, and ecosystem service modeling. He will illustrate his research across diverse landscapes in Burundi, Rwanda, Bangladesh, The Gambia, and the USA, spanning rural, urban, and coastal areas. Through his work, Dr. Dampha demonstrates how climate-smart policies and nature-based solutions can enhance the resilience of communities facing climate change-induced challenges such as floods, landslides, droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires particularly leading to internal displacement or forced migration abroad.

His work also evaluates how climate change undermines communities’ adaptive capacity to sustain livelihoods, degrade ecosystems and critical natural capital assets, and reduce the flow of ecological goods and services essential for ensuring strong sustainability – i.e., preventing a non-decline total natural wealth, especially in places that depend on nature-based economies.

You can stream this event via this link: https://eu01web.zoom.us/j/62968643460

About the Speaker:

Dr. Nfamara K Dampha (he/him) is a Research Scientist in Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services at IonE. Dr. Dampha serves on the Natural Capital Project (NatCap) Leadership Team where he catalyzes the UMN/IonE community of faculty, staff, and students toward high-impact interdisciplinary research with the NatCap. Overall, he seeks to strengthen IonE and NatCap’s partnership with local and international stakeholders to advance natural capital accounting and ecosystem service assessment and valuation to inform decision-making for building a sustainable future – in which people and the planet prosper together.

Before joining IonE, Dr. Dampha has over 13 years of professional, academic, and leadership experience working with international organizations, government institutions, universities, and nonprofits. He served as a Climate Change Consultant for the World Bank Group and a Postdoctoral Associate for the University of Minnesota. He supports the Bank’s approach to integrating climate change, nature, and sustainable development in its programmatic and analytical operations. Dr. Dampha received his Ph.D. and conducted a Postdoc at UMN focused on climate change adaptation and ecosystem service assessment and valuation; his Masters degree was in International Development Practice from UMN’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. His research interests focus on sustainability, climate risk analysis, nature-based approaches for disaster risk reduction, natural resource economics (i.e., ecosystem service modeling and valuation), and forced displacement. He enjoys GIS-based remote sensing applications for ecosystem services assessment, climate risk assessment, and hazard mapping.