+233 (0) 302 962 720

Box LG 209, Legon, Accra

Prof. Christopher Gordon

Prof. Christopher Gordon
Country Engagement Lead CDKN


Institute for Environmenta and Sanitation Studies

College of Basic and Applied Sciences

University of Ghana - Legon

Year of Employment:           1986

Prof Chris Gordon is an Environmental Scientist with special interests in the biodiversity and functioning of coastal, wetland and freshwater systems, and many years of experience as a limnologist and aquatic resource management advisor. As an academician and a consultant, he has in-depth and extensive knowledge of ecosystem functioning and conservation in the various ecosystems he has worked on, such as the Volta River Basin, aquaculture, coastal wetland and large river and estuarine systems. Prof Gordon has played an active role in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management initiatives, particularly in water, coastal wetland and catchment basin conservation issues. He has considerable experience working with international bodies such as the GEF, UNEP, FAO, UNDP, DFID (former ODA) DANIDA, IDRC, DGIS, as well as national and international NGOs.  Over the past 30 years, Prof Gordon has provided guidance on various national policies, strategies and action plans that include:

  • National Environmental Action Plan (1988)
  • Water Policy (2007)
  • National Wetlands Conservation Strategy (1999) and Action Plan (2007-2016)
  • Buffer Zone Policy (2011)
  • National Environment Policy (2014)
  • National Climate Change Policy (2014)
  • Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2015)
  • National Climate Change Master Plan (2015)
  • National Climate Change and Green Economy Learning Strategy (2017)
  • Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (2018)
  • Biodiversity Policy (on-going)
  • Environmental Management Policy of the Oil and Gas Industry (on-going)

In recognition of his vision and drive, he has been invited to serve on several Institutional, project review and think tank bodies in the role of an Invited Expert. These include the UNEP Foresight Expert Group, World Climate Science Programme, and the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention.

 Educational History

  • 1995   PhD Human Environmental Sciences London, Thesis Title: Studies on the crustacean zooplankton of the Thames Tideway. 380pp
  • 1986   MSc Zoology [Freshwater Zoology Option] Legon, Thesis Title: The Limnology of the Amansuri wetlands (Western Region Ghana). 189pp

  • 1983   Post-Graduate Certificate in Limnology, (UNESCO/Austrian Academy of Sciences).

  • 1980    BSc Zoology (Hons.) Legon, 2nd Class Upper division

Research Interests

  • Earth System Governance
  • Sustainability Science
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Environmental Policy

Current Research Projects

  • Managing small-scale mining: Assessing the potential for a more environmentally-sustainable and socially-inclusive small-scale gold mining industry in Ghana (GCRF, York University)
  • Development Strategy for Urban Sustainability in Africa on the Basis of SDGs Interlinkage Analysis (USiA) (UNU-IR3S, Tokyo)
  • Nano and micro scale plastics in coastal Ghana: the implication for global food safety and ecosystem functioning (GCRF Networking Exeter, York, NIMOR)
  • Improving the Sustainability of Aquaculture in Ghana through Environmental Quality Assessment (St Cloud US)

Graduate Students


  • Christine Okae Asare: Mainstreaming and Measuring Sustainability in Development Planning Process: The Use of Strategic Environmental Assessment as a Tool in Ghana.
  • Ishmael Lente: Vulnerability and Adaptation of Smallholder Farmers to Changes in Agroecosystem Services and Climate in Semi-Arid Regions: The Case of Nandom District of Ghana
  • Yaw Kyei Amoako: Carbon Footprint of the Mining Industry in Ghana: Case Study of Newmont Akyem Gold Mine


  • Pascal Arsein Mugabe: Climate Vulnerability and Food Security in Tanzania: The Case of Western Bagamoyo
  • Solomon Abera Bariagabre: The role of Cactus Pear (Opuntia fiscus-indica) in Climate Change Adaptation and Restoration of Degraded Drylands in Northern Ethiopia



  • Martha D. Agyemang


  • John Henry Myers
  • Abu Thelma Z.

Selected Publications


  • Cormier-Salem, M.C., Dunham, A.E., Gordon, C. (2018) Chapter 3 Status, Trends and Future Dynamics of Biodiversity and Ecosystems Underpinning Nature’s Contributions to People (in): The IPBES regional assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services for Africa. Archer, E. Dziba, L., Mulongoy,K. J., Maoela, M. A., and Walters, M. (eds.). Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Bonn, Germany. 492 pages.
  • Nyekodzi G, ET Lawson, C Gordon (2018) Evaluating the impacts of dredging and saline water intrusion on rural livelihoods in the Volta Estuary. International Journal of River Basin Management 16 (1): 93-105

  • Saito, YA, Boafo, G Kranjac-Berisavljevic, RWN Yeboah, A Mensah, C Gordon (2018) Internationalization and Localization of the Ghana Model: In. Lessons Learned, Opportunities for Upscaling, and Future Directions. Strategies for Building Resilience against Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Sub-Saharan Africa pp333-343. Springer, Singapore


  • Tanner T, A Mensah, ET Lawson, C Gordon, R Godfrey-Wood, TA Cannon. (2017) A Political Economy of Artisanal Fisheries and Climate Change in Ghana: In. Making Climate Compatible Development Happen; Nunan, F., Ed.; 223-241 Routledge Oxon, UK
  • Okoffo ED, BY Fosu-Mensah, C Gordon 2017 Contamination levels of organophosphorus and synthetic pyrethroid pesticides in cocoa beans from Ghana. Food Control 73: 1371-1378

  • Gordon C (2017) Commentary on ‘A renewed focus on water security within the 2030 agenda for sustainable development’ Sustainability Science, 1-2


  • Addo, M.A., Darko, E.O. Gordon, C., Davor, P., Ameyaw, F., Affum, H., Gbadago, J.K. Dzide S. (2016) Human Health Risk Assessment of Airborne Trace Elements for Human Receptors in the vicinity of the Diamond Cement Factory, Volta Region, Ghana. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. Vol. 11 (4) 522-536
  • 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 GhanaEnvironmental Development,

  • Ayivor, J.S., Pabi, O., Ofori, B.D., Yirenya-Taiwiah, D.R. & Gordon, C. (2016). Agro-Diversity in the Forest-Savannah Transition Zone of Ghana: A Strategy for Food Security against Climatic and Socio-Economic Stressors. Environment and Natural Resources Research; 6(1) 1-12. doi:10.5539/enrr.v6n1p1

  • Bariagabre A.S., AsanteI. K., Gordon C. and Ananng, Ted Y. (2016): Cactus Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L): A Future Asset for Sustainability of Drylands in Northern Ethiopia. International Journal of Science, Environment and Technology, Vol. 5, No 3. (2016) pp: 846 – 860. 

  • Bariagabre A S., Asante I. K., Gordon C. and Ananng Ted Y. (2016): Cactus Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) a valuable crop for restoration of degraded soils in Northern Ethiopia. Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare. Vol. 6, No. 8. (2016). pp: 11-18.

  • Borchardt, D., Gordon, C., Alcamo, J., Dannisøe, J. G., Müller, & Mensah, A. (2016). Solutions to the Water Quality Challenge: A Preliminary Review, In UNEP, A Snapshot of the World’s Water Quality: Towards a Global Assessment (pp. 81-93), United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi.

  • Dankyi, E., Carboo D, Gordon C, Fomsgaard IS 2016 Application of the QuEChERS procedure and LC–MS/MS for the assessment of neonicotinoid insecticide residues in cocoa beans and shells Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 44: 149-157

  • Fosu-Mensah, B. Y., Okoffo., E. D., Darko, G. and Gordon, C. (2016a). Organophosphorus pesticide residues in soils and drinking water sources from cocoa producing areas in Ghana. Environmental System Research, 5 (10), 1-12.

  • Fosu-Mensah, B. Y., Okoffo., E. D., Darko, G. and Gordon, C. (2016b). Assessment of organochlorine pesticide residues in soils and drinking water sources from cocoa farms in Ghana. SpringerPlus, 5 (869), 1-13. 

  • Gordon, C., Mensah, A.M. & Nikiema, J. (2016). 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 (pp. 214-227), Routledge: London.

  • Mensah, A. & Gordon, C. (2016). Water pollution in River Basins: River Basin 3-Volta, In UNEP, A Snapshot of the World’s Water Quality: Towards a Global Assessment (pp. 59-62), United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi.

  • Okoffo, E. D., Fosu-Mensah, B. Y., and Gordon, C (2016). Persistent organochlorine pesticide residues in cocoa beans from Ghana, a concern for public health. International Journal of Food Contamination, 3 (5), 1-11. 

Teaching in last three years

  1. ESSC 601 Sustainability: Principles and Practices
  2. ZOOL 409 Freshwater Zoology
  3. ZOOL 418 Limnology