+233 (0) 302 962 720

Box LG 209, Legon, Accra

Dr. Elaine T. Lawson

Dr. Elaine T. Lawson
Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Elaine Tweneboah Lawson is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist with a background in natural resource management, environmental policy and governance. Her teaching, research and consultancy interests are multidisciplinary in nature focusing on the human dimensions of environmental and resource issues. Her areas of expertise relate to the interactions between social and ecological systems, institutions and governance in natural resource management, as well as user attitudes and behaviours. These include social and cultural impacts of environmental degradation, environmental governance and policy, coastal zone management, poverty, rural livelihoods and the environment, climate change adaptation and adaptive capacity and environmental education. 

 Educational Degrees:

  • PhD Environmental and Resource Management (ERM), Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus, Germany. Magna cum laude. 2009.
  • M.Phil in Environmental Science; University of Ghana, Legon 2001.
  • B.Sc.(Hons.) Botany/Zoology & Diploma in Education; University of Cape Coast 1998.

Research Interest

  • Climate change
  • Community development
  • Environmental education and policy
  • Gender and natural resource management
  • Human-environment interactions
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • Poverty, rural livelihoods and the environment
  • Sanitation and environmental health
  • Sustainable tourism 

Research projects:

Current project activities

  1. The political economy of climate-compatible development in three countries: Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique. Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). (2013-2014).
  2. Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium (DDDAC). Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) (2012-2015).
  3. Halting the menace; Improving the Management of Ghana’s Coasts. Hanns Seidel Foundation. (2011-2014).

 Recent research activities

  1. Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR)/Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA). (DFID/IDRC). (2014-2019).
  2. Comparing the environmental attitudes of migrant and indigenous school children in the coastal zone of Ghana. IESS Research Funds. (2012)
  3. 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 (2010-2013).
  4. 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. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); Global Change SysTem for Analysis Research and Training (START); Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA) of the University of Dar es Salaam; University of Ghana (UG); and the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies (BCAS). (2009-2012).
  5. Girls in Mining and Quarrying in Ghana International Labour Organisation (ILO). (2006)
  6. Integrated Response of Health Care Systems to Rapid Population Ageing (INTRA - III) Ageing and Life Course Units, Department of Non Communicable Diseases, World Health Organisation (WHO). (2005)
  7. Integrated Response of Health Care Systems to Rapid Population Ageing (INTRA - II) Ageing and Life Course Units, Department of Non Communicable Diseases, World Health Organisation (WHO) (2004)
  8. GLOWA Volta Project - Sustainable Water Use under Changing Land Use, Rainfall Reliability, and Water Demands in the Volta Basin Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Centre for Development Research, University of Bonn. Research Sub-project “Institutional mapping” of the water sector in Ghana. (2004)
  9. People Security Survey (PSS) ILO Ghana Report. (2003)
  10. Achieving triple wins: identifying climate smart investment strategies for the coastal zone. Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). (2011-2012).
  11. National Diagnostic on Knowledge Gaps and Research Capacity. Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and University of Ghana. (2011).

Publications from 2003 to Date:


  1. Lawson, E.T. (2010). Inclusion of Ghanaian women in coastal natural resource management: The role of environmental attitudes and values.  VDM Verlag Dr. Müller e.K. Saarbrücken. 188p.

Book chapter

  1. Gordon, C., Nukpezah, D., Lawson, E.T., Ofori, B. D., Yirenya-Tawiah, D., Pabi, O., Ayivor, J. S., Koranteng, S., Darko, D. & Mensah, A. M. (2013). West Africa - water resources vulnerability using a multidimensional approach: case study of Volta Basin. In Roger A. Pielke Climate vulnerability: understanding and addressing threats to essential resources. (pp. 283-309). Waltham, Massachusetts: Academic Press.

Journal articles

  1. Lawson, E.T., Ohemeng, F., Ayivor, J., Leach, M., Waldman, L., & Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y. Understanding Framings and Perceptions of Spillover: Preventing Future Outbreaks of Bat-Borne Zoonoses?  Disaster Prevention and Management 26(4)

  2. Ohemeng, F., Lawson, E.T., Ayivor, J., Leach, M., Waldman, L., & Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y. (Forthcoming) Socio-Cultural Determinants of Human-Bat Interaction in Rural Ghana Anthrozoos

  3. Ahmed, A., Lawson, E. T., Mensah, A., Gordon, C., & Padgham, J. (2016). Adaptation to climate change or non-climatic stressors in semi-arid regions? Evidence of gender differentiation in three agrarian districts of Ghana Environmental Development, DOI: 10.1016/j.envdev.2016.08.002

  4. Lawson, E.T. (2016). Negotiating stakeholder participation in the Ghana National Climate Change Policy International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management. 8 (3) DOI: 10.1108/IJCCSM-04-2015-0041

  5. Dzingirai, V., Bett, B., Bukachi, S., & Lawson, E., Mangwanya, L., Scoones, I., Waldman, L., Wilkinson, A., Leach, M. and Winnebah, T. (2016). Zoonotic diseases: who gets sick, and why? Explorations from Africa. Critical Public Health DOI: 10.1080/09581596.2016.1187260

  6. Van Dyck, I.P., Nunoo, F.K.E. & Lawson, E.T. (2016). An empirical assessment of marine debris, seawater quality and littering in Ghana. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 4, 21-36.

  7. Ofori, B. D., Lawson, E. T., Ayivor, J S., and Kanlisi, R. (2016). Sustainable livelihood adaptation in dam-affected Volta Delta, Ghana: Lessons of NGO support.  Journal of Sustainable Development 9(3):248-260.

  8. Lawson, E. T., Ayivor, J. S., Ohemeng, F., & Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y. (2016). Social Determinants of a Potential Spillover of Bat-Borne Viruses to Humans in Ghana International Journal of Biology 8(2): 66-76

  9. 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.
  10. Lawson,E.T. (2015). Re-thinking Relationships between Environmental Attitudes and Values for Effective Coastal Natural Resource Management in Ghana. Local Environment. DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2015.1050656.
  11. Lawson, E.T., Gordon, C., Mensah,  A. M & 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
  12. Lawson, E.T. (2014). When Rhetoric Meets Reality: Attitudinal Change and Coastal Zone Management in Ghana. Environment and Natural Resources Research 4 (4), 37-50
  13. Braimah, F. R. & Lawson, E.T. (2014). Does is matter where I live? Comparing the impact of housing quality on child development in          slum and non-slum areas in Ghana International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies  5(3), 375-393.
  14. Ofori, B. D., Nukpezah, D., Ayivor, J. S., Lawson, E. T., & Gordon C. (2014). Leadership, Local Knowledge and Water Management:          Lessons from Fringe Communities of the Kogyae Strict Nature Reserve, Ghana International Journal of Development and Sustainability        (IJDS) 3 (2), 353-370.
  15. Lawson, E.T. & Bentil, G. (2014). Shifting sands: changes in community perceptions of mining in Ghana. Journal of Environment, Development and Sustainability. 16 (1), 217-238.
  16. Lawson, E.T. (2013). Your leisure, my space: using residents’ perceptions as indicators in sustainable coastal tourism development in Ghana. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure 2 (4), 1-15.
  17. Yirenya-Tawiah, D & Lawson, E.T. (2012). Boosting Health and Improving Sanitation in Ghana.  Development and Cooperation International Journal  39, 327-329.
  18. Lawson, E. T., Gordon, C. & Schluchter, W. (2012). The Dynamics of Poverty-Environment Linkages in the Coastal Zone of Ghana. Ocean & Coastal Management 67, 30-38.
  19. Gordon, C., Jallow, A., Lawson, E. T., Ayivor, A. & Mensah, M. (2010). Food security and natural resources management: Overview on climate change implications for Africa Nature & Faune  25 (1),10-17.
  20. Lawson, E. T., Schluchter, W. & Gordon, C. (2010). Using the paired comparison methodology to assess environmental values in the coastal zone of Ghana. Journal of Coastal Conservation 14(3), 231 – 238.
  21. Gordon, C., Tweneboah, E., Mensah, M. & Ayivor, J. (2009). The application of the ecosystem approach to Mangrove management: Lessons for Ghana. Nature & Faune 24 (1), 30-41.
  22. Tweneboah, E. & Asiedu, B. A. (2008). Some perspectives of hosts and guests on coastal tourism development in two destinations in Ghana. Ghana Journal of Geography  22 :21-25
  23. Adanu, R.M.K., Ntumy, M.N. & Tweneboah, E. 2005. Profile of women with abortion complications in Ghana Tropical Doctor  35 (3), 139-142.
  24. Adanu, R. M. K. &Tweneboah, E. (2004). Reasons, Fears and Emotions behind induced abortions at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra. Research Review 20 (2), 1-4.
  25. Tweneboah, E. 2003. Women, Coastal pollution and Health in Ada-Foah, Ghana. Women and Environments International (60/61), 16-18.

Conference Proceedings

  1. Lawson, E.T., Gordon, C. & Mensah, A. (2013). Engaging and Empowering children and youth in the Climate Change Discourse. Experts meeting on climate change education for sustainable development in Africa. Mauritius 20-22 March 2013.
  2. Tweneboah, E & Gordon, C. (2003). Visions for the Future: Women in Integrated Coastal Zone Management – A case study of Ada-Foah. Conference proceedings People and the sea II: Conflicts, Threats and Opportunities. September 4 - 6, 2003 Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  3. Tweneboah, E. (2003). Looking Back - Narratives of Ashanti Women in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Era. Paper presented at Conference on Motherhood. 15th-20th February 2003 Dakar, Senegal.

Monographs/Technical reports/Others

  1. Tanner, T., Mensah, A., Lawson, E. T., Gordon, C., Godfrey-Wood, R. and Cannon, T. (2014). Political Economy of Climate Compatible Development: Artisanal Fisheries and Climate Change in Ghana IDS Working Paper 446, IDS.
  2. Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y., Lawson, E.T., Suu-Ire, R., Amponsah-Mensah, K., Cunningham, A., Gianni Lo Iacono, Leach, M., Waldman, L. & Wood, J. (2013). Research Updates Situation Analysis Ghana. Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium.
  3. Tompkins, E. L., Mensah, A., King, L., Long, T. K., Lawson, E. T., Hutton, C. W., Hoang, V. A., Gordon, C., Fish, M., Dyer, J. & Bood, N. (2013).An investigation of the evidence of benefits from climate compatible development. London, GB, Sustainability Research Institute, 27pp. (Sustainability Research Institute Paper, 44).
  4. Darimani, A., Lawson, E.T. & Yanoore, I (2012).  The demand-side governance and community development in the natural resource sector. report submitted to the World Bank, Ghana
  5. Lawson, E.T., Mensah, M. & Gordon, C. (2012).  Climate Change in Relation to   Migration and Global Environmental Change. UK Foresight Programme.
  6. Gordon, C., Lawson, E. T., Mensah, A. M. & Gbeckor-Kove, P. (2011). Diagnostic on Climate Change and Development Research in Ghana: An analysis of knowledge gaps and research capacity in Ghana. Accra: University of Ghana, Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies
  7. Mensah, A., Tweneboah, E & Gordon, C. (2009). Integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation in development planning: national policy dialogue in Ghana. post dialogue report. Centre for African Wetlands, University of Ghana, Legon. October 19 – 21, 2009
  8. Fuest, V., Ampomah, B., Haffner, S. A. & Tweneboah, E. (2005). Mapping the water sector of Ghana. An inventory of institutions and actors. Unpublished research report. GLOWA Volta Project. Center for Development Research University of Bonn.
  9. Mensah, A., Tweneboah, E. & Gordon, C. (2004). Towards Regional Capacity Building for Environmental Assessment and Management in West Africa. Proceedings of a workshop on: Regional Training for environmental Assessment and Management in West Africa, Accra, Ghana. 6-7 May 2004. 


  • ESCI 701: Environmental management
  • ESCI 702: Emerging Environmental Issues for the 21st century
  • ESCI 609: Water Resources Management
  • CCSD 603: Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation

Student supervision

 PhD Environmental Science

  1.  Paschal Mugabe: The effects of climate variability on food security in Tanzania. The case of Bagamoyo district. (Ongoing).
  2. Stephen Omari: Empirical Analysis of vulnerability, adaptation behavioural responses and wellbeing of smallholder farmers to climate risks in Upper West Region, Ghana (Ongoing)

 MPhil Environmental Science

  1. Irene Himans: Land-base activities and sources of pollution to the Accra-Tema coastland, trends, threats and mitigation measures. (2013).
  2. Francis Yeboah: An assessment of processing environment, microbial quality and antibiotic resistance of pathogens isolated from fresh meat sold at Techiman Municipality. (2014).
  3. Barbara Baidoo: The vulnerability and adaptation of climate change impacts on women farmers in the Agona West Municipality. (2015).
  4. Gifty Nyekodzi: An assessment of the environmental impacts of tourism development at Ada in the Dangme East District of Ghana. (2015).
  5. Emmanuel Mevemeo: Environmental Impacts of Tourism. (Ongoing).
  6. Charles Dodzi Gidisu: Effects of people’s awareness of sanitation on their attitudes, habits and behaviours towards sustainable sanitation management in University of Ghana. (Ongoing).
  7. Jemima, J. Owusu: Assessment of solid waste management among some selected hotels in the Greater Accra region. (Ongoing).
  8. Lois Eyram Agbefe: Integrating solid waste segregation into solid waste management system: the case of Ga West Municipal Assembly. (Ongoing).     

  M.A Social Policy

  1.  Giselle Djadoo-Lindsay: Factors affecting the acquisition and utilisation of skills by informal apprentices in Nima-Accra (November, 2011).
  2. Kenneth Abotsi: Community engagement in public safety- an assessmment of neighbourhood watch committees in the Maamobi area. (November, 2011)
  3. Dora Asomani Owusu: Preventing child sexual assault-an assessment of public knowledge of support services and utilisation at Taifa, Accra. (June 2011).
  4. Farouk Rabiu Braimah: The comparative effects of housing on children’s wellbeing in Old Fadama and Asylum Down (February 2011)
  5. Nafisa Ewurama Quainoo: Examination of maternal health issues amongst women in Tema (December, 2010).
  6. Agnes A.S. Titriku: Fiscal Decentralisation in Ghana: A case study of the use of the District Assemblies Common Fund in Ho Municipal (November, 2010).
  7. Ethel Awumah: The Nationl Health Insurance Scheme and safe motherhood in health care delivery - a case of La General Hospital. (August 2010)
  8. Dunstan Ayivie: Effects of Community Based Health and Planning Services on Infant and Maternal Mortality: A Case Study of the Kwaebibirem District. (August 2010 )
  9. Gloria Mensah Bentil: An Examination on the socio-economic implication of mining in the Asutifi District (June 2010).