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Box LG 209, Legon, Accra

Dr. Adelina Maria Mensah

Research Fellow

Dr. Adelina Mensah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), University of Ghana. She served as a senior member with the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences (formerly Department of Oceanography & Fisheries) for 10 years before transferring to IESS. She has several years of experience as an academician, a scientist, and a consultant in various environmental issues. Her specific area of expertise, the assessment of the complexities of water quality issues for inland and coastal aquatic systems, includes an interdisciplinary approach for understanding the inter-linkages between land-use and environmental change. Dr. Mensah has worked extensively with various local institutions including Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, etc. and on international donor funded projects by the World Bank, UNDP, START and other international NGOs.  Her active involvement as a consultant with the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP), as a facilitator in the development of the national Climate Change documents including the Framework, Policy and current Master Strategy Plan, and with numerous climate change/environmental projects has exposed her to various sectors and stakeholders, which has served to further strengthen her insights into the various roles of socio-economic parameters in national climate change adaptation, mitigation and sustainable environmental management.

Educational History:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Geography, United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, in collaboration with Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (Centre for Development Research), University of Bonn, Germany, Magna cum laude
  • Master of Philosophy Degree (M.Phil.) in Marine Sciences and Coastal Management, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Newcastle-upon Tyne, UK
  • Master of Science Degree (M.Sc.) in Tropical Coastal Zone Management, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK 
  • Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc. Hons.) in Zoology (major) and Botany (minor), University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

Research Interest:

  •  Land use inter-linkages with aquatic systems
  •  Coastal science
  •  Climate change adaptation
  •  Climate change and governance


Research Activities

  • Supervisor and team member of the Promoting Research into Use through Networking and Engagement (PRUNE) project, Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) programme, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), January 2016 to July 2017.
  • Team lead for Work Package 6 (Positioning migration within feasible and acceptable planned and autonomous Adaptations), DEltas, vulnerability and Climate Change; Migration and Adaptation (DECCMA) project; Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) programme, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), February 2014 to February 2019.
  • Administrative support and member of research team for the Ghana component, Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project, under the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) programme, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), February 2014 to February 2019.
  • Team member and co-lead for Ghana component, Early warning system for climate change (CLIM-WARN) project, Partnership between UNDP and University of Ghana, implemented by IESS, from April 2013 to April 2014
  • Team lead for Ghana case study, The political economy of climate-compatible development in three countries: Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, Climate & Development Knowledge Network Innovation Fund, from March 2013to April 2014
  • Team Lead for Environmental Group, Creation of an Enabling Mechanism for the Nomination of Lake Bosomtwe and its Environs as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, for the UNESCO Man & The Biosphere (MAB) Program, from June 2012 to December 2013
  • Ghana Representative, Regional Steering Committee (RSC), Equatorial Africa Deposition Network (EADN), Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University - International Network on Water Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), from March 2012 to March 2018
  • Team member, Ghana Coastal Management Project, Hanns Siedel Foundation and the University of Ghana, Project duration November 2011 to November 2014
  • Team lead for Ghana for project “Achieving triple wins: identifying climate smart investment strategies for the coastal zone” in four countries: Ghana, Kenya, Belize and Vietnam. Climate & Development Knowledge Network Innovation Fund. Project duration August 2011 to February 2013
  • Team member, CECAR-Africa initiative: Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa: An Integrated Approach, Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) funded by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), from January 2011 to December 2016
  • Facilitation team member, Finalization of the National Climate Change Policy Framework (NCCPF) and the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) for Ghana for the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, June 2010 to July 2013
  • Team member, “Diagnostic on Climate Change and Development Research in Ghana’, for the Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies, UG, under the auspices of the national Climate change committee, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Ghana. Funded by the Climate & Development Knowledge Network, March 2011.
  • Team member for Ghana, “Climate Change and Urban Agricultural Land Use Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Case of Tamale”, an activity within the European Commission-funded project (ENV/2008/149690) ‘Understanding the Findings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2007 - Integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Development Planning’. Project duration from 1st May 2011 to 31st December 2012
  • Team member, WPII (ii) – Water Resources and Water Management Thematic Focus under the project Building Capacity to meet the Climate Change Challenge (B4C) – Ghana, led by the University of Ghana, funded by the Open Society Institute, February 2011 to February 2014
  • Technical Staff, Understanding the Findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2007 - Integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Development Planning, University of Ghana in collaboration with International START Secretariat, from August 2009 to August 2013.
  • Team Lead for Research component, Protecting the Marine Ecosystem and Human Health in the Gulf of Guinea from Uncontrolled Disposal of Plastics and other Municipal Solid Wastes, University of Ghana in collaboration with Africa Navy Partnership Station, NOAA, U.S. EPA and the U.S. State Department, July 2010 – May 2011
  • Team Lead for Environmental Group, Socio-economic baseline survey on the state of natural resources in the Songor Ramsar site, Ada, Greater Accra Region, for the UNESCO Man & The Biosphere (MAB) Program, from March 2010 – March 2011



  • Mensah, A.M., Wiafe, G., Niane, M., Agyekum, K.A., Azumah, D., Foli, B.A., Williams, I., Boakye, A.A., and Adiku., P.Y. (In press). Strategic Communication Plan for Monitoring for Environment and Security in the ECOWAS region. Digibooks Ghana Ltd: Accra
  • Gyasi, E.A., Fosu, M., Kranjac-Berisavljevic, G., MensahM., Obeng, F., Yiran G.A.B. & Fuseini I. (2014). Building Urban Resilience: Assessing Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Tamale, Ghana. [Padgham, J. and J. Jabbour, Eds.]. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya. ISBN: 978-92-807-3372-3
  • Mensah A. (2009). The Influence of Land use Activities on Nutrient Inputs into Upland Catchment Streams, Ghana, Ecology and Development Series No 67, Cuvillier Verlag: Göttingen. 256 pp.


Book chapter

  • Gordon, C., Mensah, A.M. & Nikiema, J. (in press). Water Quality and Public Health, In Williams, T.O., Mul, M.L., Biney, C.A., Smakhtin, V, (Eds.), Volta River Basin: Water for Food, Economic Growth and Environment Routledge: London.
  • Mensah, A. & Appeaning-Addo, K. (2015). Addressing the Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME), In Ofori-Danson, P.K., Nyarko, E., Appeaning-Addo, K., Atsu, A.K., Botwe, B.O., and Asamoah, E.K. (Eds.),  Assessment and Impact of Developmental Activities on the Marine Environment and the Fisheries Resources in the Gulf Of Guinea (pp. 117-144), University of Ghana Readers: Physical and Life Sciences Series No. 2. Digibooks Ghana Ltd: Accra.
  • Gyasi, E.A., Kranjac-Berisavljevic, G., Fosu, M., Mensah, A.M., Yiran, G., & Fuseini, I. (2014). Managing Threats and Opportunities of Urbanisation for Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Tamale, Ghana, In Maheshwari, B., Purohit, R., Malano, H., Singh, V.P. Amerasinghe, P. (Eds.), The Security of Water, Food, Energy and Liveability of Cities, Challenges and Opportunities for Peri-Urban Futures Series: Water Science and Technology Library 71 (pp 87-100), Springer Science + Business Media: Dordrecht.
  • Ashong, S., Asomaning, W., Mensah, A., Tetteh, E., & Agyemang, D. (2014). Natural Resources, People and Livelihoods in the Songor Biosphere Reserve, In Pool-Stanvliet, R., and Clüsener-Godt, M., (Eds.), AfriMAB - Biosphere Reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa: Showcasing Sustainable Development (pp. 123-140). Department of Environmental Affairs (Republic of South Africa) and UNESCO Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences.
  • Gordon, C., Nukpezah, D., Tweneboah-Lawson, E., Ofori, B. D., Yirenya-Tawiah, D., Pabi, O., Ayivor, J. S., Koranteng, S., Darko D. & Mensah, A.M. (2012).West Africa-Water Resources Vulnerability using a Multi-Dimensional Approach: Case Study of Volta Basin, In Roger A. Pielke (Ed.), Climate Vulnerability: Understanding and Addressing Threats to Essential Resources (pp 283-309). Waltham, Massachusetts: Academic Press.

 Journal articles

  • Habtezion, S., Adelekan, I., Aiyede, E., Biermann, F., Fubara, M., Gordon, C., Gyekye, K., Kasimbazi, E., Kibugi, R., Lawson, E., Mensah, A., Mubaya, C., Olorunfemi, F., Paterson, A., Tadesse, D., Usman, R. & Zondervan. R. (2015). Earth System Governance in Africa: knowledge and capacity needs. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14, 198-205. DOI:10.1016/j.cosust.2015.06.009.
  • Lawson, E.T., Gordon, C., Mensah, A., & Atipoe, E. (2015). Developing Tools for Community based Environmental Education for Migrant Children and Youth in Ghana, Journal of Education and Learning, 4(2), 6-18.
  • C., Ofori-Danson, K.P., Mensah, A., & Takyi, R., (2014). The fisheries and primary productivity of the Keta Lagoon,World Journal of Biological Research, 6(1), 15-27.
  • Manson, A.A.B., Appeaning Addo K.., & Mensah A., (2013). Impacts of shoreline morphological change and sea level rise on mangroves: the case of the Keta coastal zone, Journal of Environmental Research and Management, 4(11), 0359-0367.
  • Gordon, C., Nukpezah, D., Tweneboah-Lawson, E., Ofori, B. D., Yirenya-Tawiah, D., Pabi, O., Ayivor, J. S., Koranteng, S., Darko D. & Mensah, A.M. (2012).West Africa-Water Resources Vulnerability using a Multi-Dimensional Approach: Case Study of Volta Basin, In Pielke R.A. (Ed.), Climate Vulnerability: Understanding and Addressing Threats to Essential Resources (pp 283-309), Elsevier Inc., Academic Press.
  • Gordon, C., Jallow, A., Lawson, E.T., Ayivor, J., and Mensah, A. (2010). Food security and natural resources management: Overview on climate change implications for Africa, Nature & Faune25(1), 10-16.
  • Gordon, C., Tweneboah, E., Mensah, A., and Ayivor, J, (2009). The Application of the Ecosystem Approach to Mangrove Management, Nature & Faune, 24(1), 30-41.
  • Tsagbey S.A., Mensah A.M., & Nunoo F.K.E. (2007). Beach Litter and Microbial Quality of Coastal Shore Waters in Ghana – Case Study of La Pleasure Beach and Korle Beach Resort. West African Journal of Applied Ecology, 15, 13-23.

Working/Discussion Papers

  • Few, R., Bendapudi. R., Mensah, A. & Spear, D. (2016). Transformation in adaptation: learning from ASSAR’s Regional Diagnostic Studies. ASSAR Working Paper.
  • Mensah, A., Anderson, K., & Nelson, W. (2016). Review of Adaptation Related Policies in Ghana, DECCMA Working Paper, Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation, IDRC Project Number 107642.
  • Allan, A., Hissen, N.F., Ghosh, A., Samling, C.L., Tagoe, C. A., Nelson, W., Mensah, A., Salehin, M., Mondal, Md. S., & Spray, C. (2015). WP1 – Stakeholder Mapping Consolidated Fast Track. DECCMA Working Paper, Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation, IDRC Project Number 107642,
  • Padgham, J., Abubakari, A., Ayivor, J., Dietrich, K., Fosu-Mensah, B., Gordon, C., Habtezion, S., Lawson, E., Mensah, A., Nukpezah, D., Ofori, B., Piltz, S., Sidibé, A., Sissoko, M., Totin, E., Traoré, S., Dazé, A. & Echeverría, D. (2015). Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in semi-arid areas in West Africa. ASSAR Working Paper.
  • Tanner, T., Mensah, A., Lawson, E.T., Gordon, C., Godfrey-Wood, R., & Cannon, T. (2014). Political Economy of Climate Compatible Development: Artisanal Fisheries and Climate Change in Ghana, IDS Working Paper 446, ISBN: 978-1-78118-185-0. (Available at
  • Tompkins, E.L., Mensah, A., King, L., Long, T.K., Lawson, E.T., Hutton, C., Hoang, V.A., Gordon, C., Fish, M., Dyer, J., & Bood, N. (2013). An investigation of the evidence of benefits from climate compatible development, Sustainability Research Institute No. 44, Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy Working Paper No. 124, SRI Papers


Others (Information/policy briefs, news articles and conference proceedings)

  • Mensah, A. (2015) Addressing gaps in climate communication in West Africa, ASSAR Spotlight on Communication, November 2015, Available at:
  • Lawson, E.T., Mensah, A., and Gordon, C. (2012). Policy brief - Climate Change in Relation to Migration and Global Environment, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), the UK Foresight Programme and the Ghana office of the UK Department for International Development (DFID)


Thesis co-supervision


  • Environmental Science: Essien, John. Assessment of the safety and management of mechanized bore hole water supplied in piped scheme in the Ga East Municipality of Ghana
  • Environmental Science: Annorbah, Rebecca, Environmental impacts of decommissioned and active landfill site in the Accra Metropolis: A case study of the Pantang and Mallam landfill sites.
  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Koranteng, Kweku Oduro, Behavioral and attitudinal differences of household income groups in determining urban solid waste management.


  • Environmental Science: Okeke, Cheryl Chinwe Christina, Towards an ecosystem based disaster risk reduction for flood in downstream communities of the Lower Volta.


  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Yidana, Abass Adam, Adaptation strategies of smallholder farmers to climate variability and change in the Upper West Region of Ghana.
  • Environmental Science: Abu, Thelma, Climate change and water management implications for shared use of water resources in the Lawra District, Ghana.
  • Geography and Natural Resources: Abubakari, Rafiyatu, Gender in climate change adaptation strategies, Tolon District of Ghana.
  • Environmental Science: Larbi, Lloyd, Community stewardship and coastal ecosystem health