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Master's Degree in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Governance

Universidad Isabel I Master´s Degree

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Starting on 2023-01-24
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Why Pursue a Master's Degree in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Governance?

This Master’s degree has been designed to provide professionals from different disciplines with the necessary knowledge and skills for applied research and for the management of means and tools that can be used in the fields of Disaster Risk Management and climate governance. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate governance is related to mechanisms and voluntary measures destined to run social systems towards prevention, mitigation or adaptation to the risks caused by climate change (Jagers and Steripple, IPCC glossary). Therefore, acquiring knowledge and skills in this subject is highly relevant in a world more and more exposed to climate-related phenomena. The main groups of interest include engineers, architects, experts on Earth science, economic science, social science, environmental science, ecologists, sociologists, biologists, hydrologists, educators, geographers and other professionals interested in developing their competences in risk management and climate governance.    

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Language: English


MODULE I Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change. Concepts and Context 

  • Unit 1: Risk Management and Climate Change Management
  • Unit 2: Risk of disaster and Climate Change
  • Unit 3: Systemic Approach for the management of disaster risk and climate change management
  • Unit 4: Focus of processes and strategies for an integral management of the risk of disasters and adaptation to climate change

MODULE II Prospective and Corrective Risk Management

  • Unit 1: Context and Conceptualization of Risk Awareness towards Its Prospective and Corrective Management
  • Unit 2: Prospective and Corrective Management. Risk Assessment
  • Unit 3: Reducing Risks through Prospective Interventions
  • Unit 4: Reducing Risks through Corrective Interventions

MODULE III Climate Variability and Climate Change 

  • Unit 1:  The Climate System
  • Unit 2: Weather, Climate and Climate Change
  • Unit 3: Climate Change
  • Unit 4: Vulnerability Analysis and Climate Change Risk (CCR)

MODULE IV ICT and GIS Applications in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change

  • Unit 1: Introduction to IT, GIS, GPS, DB, and Telecom
  • Unit 2: Basic tools to collect geolocalized Data in a Database
  • Unit 3: QGIS Desktop Tool and the Creation of Web Geoservices with GeoServer.
  • Unit 4: Creating Maps. Layers, Cartography, Cadastre, Census and GIS Analysis to Obtain Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Maps

MODULE V Disaster Risk Financial Protection and Climate Finance

  • Unit 1: Context and Conceptualization of Disaster Risk Financial Protection and Climate Finance
  • Unit 2: Disaster Risk Financial Protection in Public Investment
  • Unit 3: Disaster Risk Financial Protection in Private Investment
  • Unit 4: Climate Finance

MODULE VI Disaster Management and Recovery 

  • Unit 1: Context and Concepts of Development-Oriented Disaster Management and Recovery
  • Unit 2: Disaster Management and Recovery Planning
  • Unit 3: Information Management, and Response and Recovery Assessments
  • Unit 4:  Disaster Management and Development-Oriented Recovery Strategies and instruments

MODULE VIIClimate Governance 

  • Unit 1:  Why Is Climate Governance Necessary?
  • Unit 2: Governance: Countries, Cities and Communities
  • Unit 3: Strategic Sector Governance
  • Unit 4: Capacities and Challenges of Climate Governance

MODULE VIIIGlobal Warming Mitigation Tools

  • Unit 1: The Close Link between Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Global Warming (GW)
  • Unit 2: International Mitigation Mechanisms
  • Unit 3: Sectoral Mitigation Strategies
  • Unit 4: Mitigation Benefit and Opportunities

MODULE IX Climate Change Adaptation Tools 

  • Unit 1: Climate change risks in terms of analysis and vulnerability
  • Unit 2: Adaptation to climate change
  • Unit 3: International experience in climate change adaptation
  • Unit 4: Sectoral adaptive strategies

MODULE X Master’s Final Project (MFP)


The program is subject to possible content updates and upgrades




Sandra Buitrago is an Architect from the National University of Colombia and a consultant on Disaster Risk Management with a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Studies and an MBA in Finance. She is  highly experienced in the areas of disaster recovery, climate change and resilience, damage and loss economic estimations and in public, housing and agricultural risk management policies. Although she works as an independent consultant, Buitrago has been a technical advisor for government agencies at national, sectoral and local levels in cooperation with the UNDP and the World Bank.




Diego Fernando Peña López is a Geologist specialized in Disaster Prevention, Treatment and Reduction. He has worked in the public sector for entities such as the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley, CORPOCALDAS (Caldas’ Autonomous Regional Corporation), CODECHOCÓ (Autonomous Regional Corporation for Chocó’s Sustainable Development), the District Institute of Risk and Climate Change Management (IDIGER) at the Mayor’s Office in Bogotá, and for the Chocó and Córdoba’s CDGRD (Departmental Council for Disaster Risk Management).  

He has also worked as a professor at the Pontifical Bolivarian University (Medellín), the University Foundation of Popayán and the Catholic University of Manizales, among others. Peña has been part of several national projects from the Ministry of Environment and the National Unity for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) as environmental governance and disaster risk management advisor and consultant. Diego worked as assistant director of the Risk Awareness program at the UNGRD, and is currently working as a procurer for the Consolidation Plan for Comprehensive Disaster Management in the Agricultural Sector. 

Three years ago, he started working as a consultant for IDIGER at the Assistant Office of Risk Reduction and Climate Change. Peña drafts, develops and adapts local risk management and climate change plans for the Mayors’ office in Bogotá. 


Beatriz Rojas is an Environmental Manager specialized in Local Environmental Resource Management from the Technological University of Pereira, as well as in Territorial Government and Public Management from Javeriana University.   

She has worked as a researcher in the fields of territorial environmental governance and Disaster Risk Management. Additionally, Rojas has worked at the international level for United Nations agencies, and at the national level (Colombia), in the housing, water and sanitation sectors from a disaster risk management standpoint. At the local level, Beatriz has been a consultant for more than ten years of work experience. , and at present, she supports risk management processes with a regional environmental agency. 


Gladys Puerto Castro is a Chemical Engineer from the National University of Colombia, and specializes in Pedagogy and Environmental Management. She also has a Master’s degree in Regional and Urban Planning. 

In the first part of her professional career, Gladys focused on environmental management, more specifically on solid waste management and cleaner production, and for the last fifteen years, she has been working as a risk management expert in risk management at both local and national levels. Puerto has also developed policy and regulation tools in relation to technological risk.

At present, she is the leader of the risk and contingency group at the National Authority of Environmental Permits. 

Lucy Bohórquez Ríos is a Mining Engineer from the University Foundation of the Andean Region. She is a specialist in Regional Urban Planning from the National University of Colombia. She is currently the manager of the consulting firm Consultores en Ingeniería Geotécnica y Medio Ambiente con Énfasis en las Amenazas Geológicas. Bohórquez has worked in both the public and private sectors across Colombia for the past 20 years in the fields of development and implementation of civil engineering projects, geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, subsoil exploration, monitoring and instrumentation, specialized construction of mitigation geotechnical works, assessment of natural and anthropogenic risks and planning and land-use planning.  

She started her career at Ingeominas — known today as the Colombian Geological Survey — from 1993 until 2006, in the areas of mining and geohazards, as well as in the Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME in Spanish) within the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Afterwards, Bohórquez joined the Office of Emergency Prevention and Response (DPAE) from 2003 to 2009, in interagency risk management and coordination. During this period, she incorporated the risk component into environmental territorial planning and interagency coordination tools by drafting and conducting technical and interagency risk mitigation and rehabilitation plan  monitoring tools to be applied in the contexts of natural and anthropological, non-voluntary events. She also drafted, supervised and performed inventorying and monitoring in risk management and community social/technical work in high mitigable and non-mitigable risk areas. At present, Bohórquez assists the Ministry of Housing, City and Territory as a consultant for the drafting of risk-prevention-and-reduction-oriented Land Use Planning Regulations and incorporating these concepts in hazard, vulnerability and risk studies.   


Jane Guerrero is an Ecologist from Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia. She has studied Ecology, Biodiversity and Evolution at Paris-Sud University (France), and has a Master’s degree from the UNESCO Chair National Museum of Natural History (Paris) in Development and Comprehensive Spatial Planning.

Guerrero —co-author of the book Gestión Ambiental Territorial (Territorial Environmental Management)— has taken part in disaster risk and climate change management projects both in the public and private sectors, where she has also carried out educational duties. At present, she is part of the Risk Scenario group at the District Institute of Risk and Climate Change Management in Bogota. 


Darwing Martínez is a Computer Engineer specialized in Geographic Information Systems. He has years of work experience in different fields such as risk management, cadastre, urban planning and remote sensing (satellite images or aerial photos).

For the last 17 years, Martinez has gained experience in the fields of management, analysis, design and development, documentation and assessment of computer systems in various settings and specialties, primarily, Geographic Information Systems and CAD tools used in physical cadastres, population and housing censuses and risk management. He also has extensive teaching experience on Geographic Information Systems used to create, organize, maintain, upgrade and publish spatial and geographic databases via different technological instruments. Some of the technological instruments he has worked with include ArcView 3, ArcGIS 9 and 10, MicroStation Geographics and PowerMap, spatial databases such as PostGIS, open source tools like GVSIG and Quantum GIS or tools that upload maps to the internet such as MapServer and GeoServer. 


Ana María Torres is an Economist with a Master’s degree in Economics, and with experience in disaster risk contingency management and financial risk management in the face of natural hazards. She has been an advisor at the Assistant Office of Risk within the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of the Republic of Colombia, and has also been head of the Office of Analysis and Risk Control within the District Finance Secretariat in Bogota, Colombia. At present, Torres works as a consultant for the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. 



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