+233 (0) 302 962 720

Box LG 209, Legon, Accra

Prof. Christopher Gordon

Country Engagement Lead CDKN


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

  • Core Team Member, West Africa Regional Hub of the African Research Universities Alliance, Centre of Excellence in Climate and Development (ARUA-CD)
  • 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)

Pipeline Research Project

  • Climate Change and Poverty EU Framework 7
  • Reoptimization of Operations of Akosombo & Kpong Dams on the Volta River in Ghana to Restore Downstream Livelihoods and Ecosystems. African Water Partnership/African Development Bank

Graduate Students

  • Aboagye Kumi: Water Quality in Teshie
  • Baniba:. Factors influencing the selection of water source in Jasikan district and implication on the health status of rural communities


  • Addo: Monitoring Dust Pollutants Emissions Associated with Cement Production Activities in Ghana: Modelling Pollutant Concentrations and their Estimated Effects on the Public

Selected Publications

Book Chapter

  1. A.M., Mensah; C., Gordon; (2020). Strategic Partnerships Between Universities and Non-academic Institutions for Sustainability and Innovation: Insights from the University of Ghana, in: Sustainability Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa I. Science for Sustainable Societies 1-245-278, Springer


  1. Mahu, E., Datsomor, W., Folorunsho, R., Jerome, F., Crane, R., Marchant, R., Gordon, C. et al. (2023). Human health risk and food safety implications of microplastic consumption by fish from coastal waters of the eastern equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Food Control, Volume, 145, 109503, Elsevier.


  1. Anuga, S. W., Gordon, C., Nukpezah, D., Fosu-Mensah, B. Y., & Ahenkan, A. (2022). Climate-Smart Agriculture Approaches and Concepts for Food Systems Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Realities and Myths. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, 231-244. Springer International Publishing.
  2. Anuga, S. W., Fosu-Mensah, B. Y., Nukpezah, D., Ahenkan, A., Gordon, C., & Baye , R. S. (2022). Climate-smart agriculture: Greenhouse gas mitigation in climate-smart villages of Ghana. Journal of Environmental Sustainability, 5 (4), 457-469. Springer Nature Singapore.
  3. Alain, M., Gordon, C. et al. (2022). A global agenda for advancing freshwater biodiversity research. Journal of Ecology Letters. Wiley. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13931
  4. Gordon, C., Mugabe, P., Renkamp, T., & Rybak . (2022). Governing COVID-19: analyzing the effects of policy responses on food systems in Tanzania. Journal of Agriculture and Food Security. Volume: 11, Springer Nature.
  5. Gupta, J., Liverman, D., Prodani, K., Aldunce, P., Bai, X., Broadgate, W., Gordon, C., et. al. (2022). Conceptualizing Earth system justice. SocArXiv.
  6. Lente, I., Heve, W. K., Owusu-Twum, M. Y., Gordon, C., Opoku, P., Nukpezah, D., & Amfo-Out, R. (2022). Assessing levels of selected heavy metals with other pollutants in soil and water resources in Nandom District in the semi-arid northwestern Ghana. Journal: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. Volume: 194 (12) 919. Publisher: Springer International Publishing.
  7. Magna, E. K., Koranteng, S. S., Donkor, A., & Gordon, C. (2022). Organochlorine Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Sediment Impacted by Cage Aquaculture in the Volta Basin of Ghana. Journal of Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 119-130.
  8. Magna, E., Koranteng, S.S., Donkor, A., & Gordon, C. (2022). Levels of Persistent Organochlorine Compounds in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from Three Cage Aquaculture Farms on the Volta Basin of Ghana: Implications for Human Health. Journal of Environmental Processes, Volume 2021, 10 pages.
  9. Magna, E., Koranteng, S., Donkor, A., & Gordon, C. (2022). Heavy Metal Pollution in the Surface Sediments from Cage Aquaculture Farms in the Volta Basin of Ghana: Source Identification and Ecological Risk Assessment. Journal of Water Air Soil Pollution. Volume 233.
  10. Obura, D. O., DeClerck, F., Verburg, P. H., Gupta, J., Abrams, J. F., Bai, X., Gordon, C., et al. (2022). Achieving a nature- and people-positive future. One Earth, Elsevier
  11. Rammelt, C., Gupta, J., Gordon, C., et al. (2022). Impacts of meeting minimum access on critical earth systems amidst the Great Inequality. Journal of Nature Sustainability, Springer Nature.
  12. Wilkinson, J. L., Boxall, A. B., Kolpin, D. W., Leung, K. M., Gordon, C., et. al. (2022). Pharmaceutical pollution of the world’s rivers. Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Volume: 119 (8) e2113947119, National Academy of Sciences.
  13. Maasri A., et al., (2022) A global agenda for advancing freshwater biodiversity research. Ecology Letters, 25 (2) pp. 255-263, https://doi.org10.1111/ele.13931


  1. Appiah-Opong, R., Ofori, A., Ofosuhene, M., Ofori-Attah, M., Nunoo, F., Tuffuor, I., Gordon, C., Fosu-Mensah, B., et al. (2021). Heavy metals concentration and pollution index (HPI) in drinking water along the southwest coast of Ghana. Journal of Applied Water Science, Volume 13 (1) 230 -237.
  2. Braimah, J.A., Yirenya-Tawiah, D., & Gordon, C. (2021). Hand-dug Well Water Quality: The Case of Two Peri-Urban Communities in Ghana. West African Journal of Applied Ecology, Volume 29 (1) 24-34
  3. Chester, H.A., Gordon, C., Hartmann H.A., Bartell, S., Ansah, E., Yan, T., Schoenfuss, H., et al. (2021). Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Lower Volta River, Ghana, West Africa: The Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Urban Development Nexus. Journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Volume: 41 (2) 369 – 381.
  4. Gupta, J., Liverman, D., Bai, X., Gordon, C., et al. (2021). Reconciling safe planetary targets and planetary justice: Why should social scientists engage with planetary targets? Earth System Governance. Volume 10, Elsevier.
  5. Magna, E. K., Koranteng, S. S., Donkor, A., & Gordon, C. (2021). Health Risk Assessment and Levels of Heavy Metals in Farmed Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from the Volta Basin of Ghana. Hindawi Journal of Chemistry. Volume 9 pp. 21, Publisher: Springer Nature.
  6. Magna, E., Koranteng, S.S., Donkor, A., & Gordon, C. (2021). Assessment of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in water from cage aquaculture farms in the Volta Lake in Southern Ghana. West African Journal of Applied Ecology, Volume 29 (2) 75-86.
  7. Myers, H. J., Gordon, C., & Opoku, P. (2021). Carbon stock of above-ground mangroves in the Lower Volta Area, Ghana. Indo Pacific Journal of Ocean Life. Volume: 5 (2).
  8. Rockström, J., Gupta, J., Gordon, C., et al. (2021). Identifying a Safe and Just Corridor for People and the Planet. Earth's Future. Volume 9 (4) e2020EF001866.
  9. Segnon, A. C., Totin, E., Zougmoré, B. R., Lokossou, J. C., Thompson-Hall, M., Ofori, B. O., Achigan-Dako , E. G., Gordon, C. (2021). Differential household vulnerability to climatic and non-climatic stressors in semi-arid areas of Mali, West Africa. Journal of Climate and Development, Volume 13 (8) 697-712.
  10. Sokona, Y., Uku, J., Zablone, O., Gordon, C., et al. (2021). Accelerating adaptation action in Africa, Working Paper.
  11. Favretto, Nicola; Shackleton, Sheona; Sallu, Susannah M; Gordon, Chris; Methner, Nadine; Outa, George; Sola, Phosiso; Sikutshwa, Likho; Williams, Portia Adade; (2021). Collaboration and Multi-Stakeholder Engagement in Landscape Governance and Management in Africa: Lessons from Practice, MDPI
  12. Magna, Emmanuel Kaboja; Koranteng, Samuel Senyo; Donkor, Augustine; Gordon, Christopher; (2021). Levels of persistent organochlorine and polychlorinated biphenyls in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from three cage aquaculture farms on the Volta Basin of Ghana: Implications for human health
  13. Fosu-Mensah, B. Y., Ofori, A., Ofosuhene, M., Ofori-Attah, E., Nunoo, F. K. E., Tuffour, I., Gordon, C., Arhinful, D., Nyarko, A. K., Appiah-Opong, R.; (2021) Bioaccumulation of Toxic Metals in Commercially Valuable Fish from the Western Region of Ghana, Universal Journal of Public Health, 9(5)


  1. Anuga, S. W., Chirinda, N., Nukpezah, D., Ahenkan, A., Andrieu, N., & Gordon, C. (2020). Towards low carbon agriculture: Systematic-narratives of climate-smart agriculture mitigation potential in Africa. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 2,100015, Elsevier.
  2. Somanje, A. N., Mohan, G., Lopes, J., Mensah, A., Gordon, C., Zhou, X., ... & Takeuchi, K. (2020). Challenges and Potential Solutions for Sustainable Urban-Rural Linkages in a Ghanaian Context. Sustainability, 12(2), 507.
  3. Adika, S. A., Mahu, E., Crane, R., Marchant, R., Montford, J., Folorunsho, R., & Gordon, C. (2020). Microplastic ingestion by pelagic and demersal fish species from the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean, off the Coast of Ghana. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 153, 110998.
  4. Ayivor, J. S., Gordon, C., Tobin, G. A., & Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y. (2020). Evaluation of management effectiveness of protected areas in the Volta Basin, Ghana: perspectives on the methodology for evaluation, protected area financing and community participation. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 22(2), 239-255.
  5. Chico-Ortiz, Nicole; Mahu, Edem; Crane, Rich; Gordon, Chris; Marchant, Rob (2020), Microplastics in Ghanaian coastal lagoon sediments: Their occurrence and spatial distribution. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 40-101509-Elsevier
  6. Yirenya-Tawiah D, Annang, T., Ofori, BD, Fosu-Mensah, B.Y, Lawson, E.T., Yeboah, R., Owusu-Afriyie, K., Abudey, B.,Annan, T, Datsa, C. Gordon, C.; (2020). Urban Waste as a Resource for Development: Utilization of Organic Waste to Improve Agriculture Productivity in Accra, Ghana. Organic Waste Composting through Nexus Thinking: Practices, Policies, and Trends 123-145. Springer
  7.  Zaitchik, Benjamin F; Sweijd, Neville; Shumake-Guillemot, Joy; Morse, Andy; Gordon, Chris; Marty, Aileen; Trtanj, Juli; Luterbacher, Juerg; Botai, Joel; Behera, Swadhin; (2020). A framework for research linking weather, climate and COVID-19, Nature Communications, 11(1) 44564.00. Nature Publishing Group.
  8. Gordon, Chris; Kwawu, Millicent; (2020), Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction: District-level collaboration for flood mitigation in Accra, Ghana. Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)
  9. Archer, E., L.E. Dziba, K.J. Mulongoy, M.A. Maoela, M. Walters, R. Biggs, M.-C.C. Salem, F. DeClerck, M.C. Diaw, A.E. Dunham, P. Failler, C. Gordon, K.A. Harhash, R. Kasisi, F. Kizito, W.D. Nyingi, N. Oguge, B. Osman-Elasha, L.C. Stringer, L. Tito de Morais, A. Assogbadjo, B.N. Egoh, M.W. Halmy, K. Heubach, A. Mensah, L. Pereira, N. Sitas (2021) Biodiversity and ecosystem services on the African continent – what is changing, and what are our options. Environ. Dev., 37 100558, 10.1016/j.envdev.2020.100558


  1. Whalley, P., & Gordon, C. (2019). Terminal Evaluation of the GEF/UNEP Project: Development of Tools to Incorporate Impacts of Climate Variability and Change, in Particular Floods and Droughts, into Basin Planning Processes.
  2. Quansah, K. E., Gordon, C., Aboagye-Antwi, F., Gerchie, R. (2019). The implication of climate variability on household water management; perception and practices among rural womenfolk in four communities in Ghana. Cogent Environmental Science, 5(1) 1603607
  3. Anuga, S.W., Gordon, C., Boon, E., Surugu, J. M. I. (2019). Determinants of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Adoption among Smallholder Food Crop Farmers in the Techiman Municipality, Ghana. Ghana Journal of Geography 11 (1), 124-139


  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Gordon C (2017) Commentary on ‘A renewed focus on water security within the 2030 agenda for sustainable development’ Sustainability Science, 1-2



  1. 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. 11 (4): 522-536
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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, 5 (3): 846 – 860.
  5. 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. 6 (8): 11-18.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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. CCSD 603 Climate Change Vulnerability Impact and Adaptation
  2. CCSD 618 Climate change and Water