Sex: Female

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, The University of Sheffield, 2019
  • Master of Science in Environmental Science, Kobenhavns Universitet, University of Copenhagen, 2012
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Oregon, 2009

Field of Specialization:
Climate change impacts
Climate variability
Climate change adaptation
Food Security


Article title: Implications of COVID-19 on progress in the UN Conventions on Biodiversity and Climate Change
Authors: Andrea Monica D. Ortiz, Alaya M. de Leon, Justine Nicole V. Torres, Cecilia Therese T. Guiao, Antonio G. M. La Viña
Publication title: Global Sustainability 4:1-33, February 2021

2020 was to be a landmark year for setting targets to stop biodiversity loss and prevent dangerous climate change. However, COVID-19 has caused delays to the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the 26th COP of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Negotiations on the Global Biodiversity Framework and the second submission of Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement were due to take place at these COPs. There is uncertainty as to how the COVID-19 disruption will affect the negotiations, whether parties will pursue more ambitious actions or take a weaker stance on issues. Our policy analysis shows there are broad opportunities for climate and biodiversity frameworks to better respond to COVID-19, by viewing future pandemics, biodiversity loss, and climate change as interconnected problems. Importantly, there needs to be greater focus on agriculture and food systems in discussions, establishing safeguards for carbon markets, and implementing nature-based solutions in meeting the Paris Agreement goals. We can no longer delay action to address the biodiversity and climate emergencies, and accelerating sustainable recovery plans through virtual spaces may help keep discussions and momentum before the resumption of in-person negotiations. Non-technical summary High ambition needed at UN biodiversity and climate conferences to address pandemics, biodiversity, climate change, and health.
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Article title: A review of the interactions between biodiversity, agriculture, climate change and international trade: Research and policy priorities
Authors: Andrea Monica D. Ortiz, Charlotte L. Outhwaite, Carole Dalin, Tim Newbold
Publication title: One Earth 4(1), January 2021

Striving to feed a population set to reach almost 10 billion people by 2050 in a sustainable way is high on the research and policy agendas. Further intensification and expansion of agricultural lands would be of major concern for the environment and biodiversity. There is, therefore, a need to understand better the impacts on biodiversity from the global food system. Since biodiversity underpins functions and services that are essential to agriculture, greater consideration of the role of biodiversity in the food system is needed. Here we have generated a conceptual framework separating the environment-agriculture-trade system into its key components, revealing complex interactions and highlighting the role of biodiversity. This process identified components that are well studied, and gaps preventing a better understanding of the interactions, trade-offs, and synergies between biodiversity, agriculture, climate change, and international trade. We highlight eight priorities that will promote a greater understanding of the complexities of the environment-agriculture-trade system.
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Article title: Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture and Its Trade on Philippine Biodiversity
Authors: Andrea Monica D. Ortiz and Justine Nicole V. Torres
Publication title: Land 9(11):403, October 2020

Many Philippine species are at risk of extinction because of habitat loss and degradation driven by agricultural land use and land-use change. The Philippines is one of the world's primary banana and pineapple producers. The input-intensive style of plantation agriculture for these typically exported crops has many adverse effects on the environment. While global studies have attempted to understand the biodiversity impacts of agricultural goods, there are few studies that have investigated the Philippines specifically. In this study, Philippine policies and data are investigated to better characterize the nexus between agriculture, biodiversity, and trade. An analysis of key national policies highlights that more stringent definitions and protections for biodiversity are needed to recognize the increasing roles that agricultural production, and importantly, its global trade, have on threatened Philippine species. A geographical analysis shows that many banana and pineapple plantations in Mindanao and their surrounding agricultural impact zones overlap with ecologically important areas, such as Protected Areas and Important Bird Areas. Overlaps of recorded species occurrence are observed within the immediate zones surrounding 250 plantations for banana and pineapple in Mindanao, with 83 threatened species of Philippine fauna and tree at risk of exposure to the impacts of intensive agriculture.
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Article title: Implications of COVID-19 on Progress in the UN Conventions on Biodiversity and Climate Change
Authors: Andrea Monica D. Ortiz, Alaya M. de Leon, Justine Nicole Torres, Cecilia Therese T. Guiao, Antonio La Vina
Publication title: SSRN Electronic Journal, January 2020

2020 was to be a landmark year to set new targets to halt biodiversity loss and prevent dangerous climate change. However, due to COVID-19, the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Kunming, China and the 26th COP of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow, Scotland, where negotiations on the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) towards the 2050 vision of “Living in harmony with nature”, as well as the second submission of Nationally Determined Contributions to keep global warming well below 2°C following the Paris Agreement, were to take place.

The pandemic has caused many country priorities to shift towards responding to the health crisis and economic recovery, and this may affect how driven parties will be in upcoming negotiations. Agreement on higher climate ambition, as well as conservation targets, may become even more tenuous. However, weak and unambitious climate and biodiversity policies, and a rapid return to business as usual could have catastrophic consequences for the planet. Biodiversity and climate policy frameworks should recognize that the biodiversity, climate change, and health crises are deeply interlinked, and take advantage of opportunities for higher ambition in climate and biodiversity targets.
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Article title: Observed trends and impacts of tropical cyclones in the Philippines
Authors: Thelma A. Cinco, Rosalina G. de Guzman, Andrea Monica D. Ortiz, Rafaela Jane P. Delno, Rodel D. Lasco, Flaviana D. Hilario, Edna L. Juanillo, Rose Barbara and Emma D. Ares
Publication title: International Journal of Climatology 36(14), February 2016

An analysis of tropical cyclone (TC) data from 1951 to 2013 in the Philippines revealed that an average of 19.4 TCs enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) every year and nine TCs cross the country. Time series analysis of the TC datasets shows no significant trends in the annual number of TCs in PAR but a slightly decreasing trend in the number of landfalling TCs in the Philippines, particularly in the last two decades. However, while the analysis shows fewer typhoons (above 118 kph), more extreme TCs (above 150 kph) have affected the Philippines. The study also confirms that the Northern island of Luzon is most frequently hit by TCs, and that TC-associated rainfall is greatest in this region compared to the southernmost part of the country. The impact of TCs shows a consistently increasing trend in economic losses and damages. Further understanding of past and future trends of TC activity in the Western North Pacific Basin, and the PAR, including the impacts associated with them, will provide valuable insights for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.
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Article title: Quantifying Resilience to Flooding among Households and Local Government Units using System Dynamics: A Case Study in Metro Manila
Authors: C.K. Gotangco,J.See3, J.P. Dalupang, M. Ortiz, E. Porio, G. Narisma, A. Yulo-Loyzaga and J. Dator-Bercilla
Publication title: Journal of Flood Risk Management 9(3), November 2015

A generic systems dynamics (SD) model template for resilience is adapted to analyse flooding impacts on household assets and local government assets of Pasig City, Metro Manila. SD simulations are used to quantify the loss of system performance due to adverse impacts, and the recovery of the system due to response measures. The simulation results reflect the decreasing levels of resilience among low-income households, and the reliance of local government on budgeting cycles to replenish assets. The initial model needs to be expanded to include other determinants of resilience, but this exploratory study reflects the potential usefulness of SD simulations as a decision support tool for city policy makers. By quantifying changes in resilience measures over time, simulations can complement qualitative analyses and test policy and programme scenarios. © 2015 The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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