Portrait of Professor Adrian Wood Professor Adrian Wood

a.p.wood@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473010


Position: Professor of Sustainability, Department of Management
Qualifications: BA, PhD, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Adrian joined the Business School in 2012 after being a Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor of Geographical Sciences between 1985 and 2006. Prior to that he was a Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Zambia for 10 years.

He has been involved in research, teaching and field activities concerned with African development and the environment for more than four decades. His work links field research to teaching and advisory support for a number of NGOs and government agencies. He has also worked with a range of international development agencies such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Bank and UK AID / DFID. He has also worked with the governments of Zambia, Ethiopia and Malawi, and with the World Conservation Union and the Ramsar Convention.

He has been the Director of the Centre for Wetlands, Environment and Livelihoods at the University and is also a Director of a European based NGO, Wetland Action.

Research and Scholarship

Adrian’s research addresses the link between natural resource management and livelihoods in Africa, with a focus on the development of enterprises which enhance the value of natural resources and so motivate sustainable management of them. There are two main foci of this work: wetlands and forests, although the two are often linked.

The wetland work concerns addressing the gap between conservationist views of wetlands and the agro-development approach to these areas. Between the extremes of protected areas and agricultural estates are the 99% of wetlands in the developing world which are used by communities in a variety of ways to meet their livelihood needs. This may be for domestic water, agriculture, fishing, gathering of craft and medicinal materials and grazing of livestock. As the population grows in these parts of the world, as uplands become more degraded, and as rainfall becomes more variable with climate change, there are increasing pressures on these wetlands. The challenge now is to develop sustainable use regimes which help ensure that livelihood benefits can be maintained for the future. Projects which are exploring this have been undertaken in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi.

The forestry work addresses the need to increase the value of natural forests so that communities will be motivated to protect and manage them in a sustainable way. The main initiative here is a series of EU funded projects (2003-2014) looking at the development of forest based enterprises in the tropical montane rain forests of south-west Ethiopia. This involves developing market linkages for a range of forest products, such as coffee, honey and spices, and linking this to the development of local community institutions which can undertake marketing and forest management and accept the responsibilities which come with devolved forest tenure. Major policy discussions have been held with government to support forest tenure changes and guidelines for forest management. The methods developed through the initial forest products projects are now being applied in an adjoining area to the management of forests for the conservation of wild coffee, with EU funding, but also with a grant from the UK government’s Darwin Initiative, the Christiansen Foundation and the University of Huddersfield. This project runs in two phases from 2010 to 2019.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


McElwee, G. and Wood, A. (2017) ‘Wetland entrepreneurs: diversity in diversification in Zambian farmingJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development . ISSN 1462-6004

Wood, A (2017) ‘How farmers in Africa are finding ways to sustainably use wetlandsThe Conversation . ISSN 2044-5032

Wood, A (2017) ‘Rights, revenues and responsibilities - solving conflicts using PFM for wild coffee conservationThe Darwin Initiative Newsletter , p. 13.


Wood, A., Sutcliffe, J. and Dixon, A. (2016) ‘Baro-Akobo River Basin Wetlands: Livelihoods and Sustainable Regional Land Management (Ethiopia)’. In: The Wetland Book. : Springer. pp. 1-18. ISBN 978-94-007-6173-5

Hesselden, F. and Wood, A. (2016) ‘Ethiopia’s vulnerable tropical forests are key to securing future of wild coffeeThe Conversation . ISSN 2044-5032

Wood, A., Tolera, M., O'Hara, P. and Lemenih, M. (2016) ‘Wild Coffee Conservation in SW Ethiopia’. In: Biodiversity, Sustainable Development & the Law, 20th-22nd February 2016, St. John’s College Divinity School, Cambridge


Tolera, M., Lemenih, M., O'Hara, P. and Wood, A. (2015) ‘In-situ Conservation of wild forest coffee-Exploring the potential of participatory forest management in south west Ethiopia’. In: WFC2015 – XIV World Forestry Congress, 7th - 11th September 2015, Durban, South Africa

Lowore, J. and Wood, A. (2015) ‘Conservation logic in the forests of south-west Ethiopia: Linking honey producers to markets and the implications for sustainable forest management’. In: 14th World Forestry Congress 2015, 7th - 11th September 2015, Durban, South Africa

Meaton, J., Abebe, B. and Wood, A. (2015) ‘Forest Spice Development: the Use of Value Chain Analysis to Identify Opportunities for the Sustainable Development of Ethiopian Cardomom (Orerima)Sustainable development , 23 (1), pp. 1-15. ISSN 1099-1719


Lever, J., Wood, A., Meaton, J. and Mswaka, W. (2014) ‘PRME and The Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Communities at the University of Huddersfield,’. In: Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing. pp. 55-60. ISBN 978-1-783531-24-0


Meaton, J., Abebe, B. and Wood, A. (2013) ‘Forest Spice Development: the Use of Value Chain Analysis to Identify Opportunities for the Sustainable Development of Ethiopian Cardamom (Korerima)Sustainable Development , 23 (1), pp. 1-15. ISSN 0968-0802

Wood, A. and Thawe, P. (2013) ‘Catchment and wetlands: a functional landscape approach to sustainable use of seasonal wetlands in central Malawi’. In: Wetland Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Africa. : Routledge. . ISBN 978-1849714129

Wood, A (2013) ‘People-centred wetland management’. In: Wetland Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Africa. : Taylor & Francis. pp. 1-42. ISBN 9781849714112

Wood, A., Dixon, A. and McCartney, M. (2013) Wetland Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Africa . London, UK: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-84971-411-2

Wood, A (2013) ‘Conclusions: transforming wetland livelihoods’. In: Wetland Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Africa. : Routledge. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-84971-412-9

Wood, A (2013) ‘South-west Ethiopia –Valuing Forests and Functional Landscapes’. In: Final Workshop for Disseminating Lessons of the Non-Timber Forest Product – Participatory Forest Management Project, 3rd - 4th June 2013, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Sutcliffe, J., Wood, A. and Meaton, J. (2012) ‘Competitive forests – making forests sustainable in south-west EthiopiaInternational Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology , 19 (6), pp. 471-481. ISSN 1350-4509


Maconachie, R., Dixon, A. and Wood, A. (2009) ‘Decentralization and local institutional arrangements for wetland management in Ethiopia and Sierra LeoneApplied Geography , 29 (2), pp. 269-279. ISSN 01436228


Wood, A. and van Halsema, G. (2008) Scoping agriculture – wetland interactions: Towards a sustainable multiple-response strategy . FAO Water Reports. Rome, Italy: FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 978-92-5-106059-9


Al-Mohannadi, H., Hunt, C. and Wood, A. (2003) ‘Controlling residential water demand in Qatar: an assessmentAmbio , 32 (5), pp. 362-366. ISSN 0044-7447

Dixon, A. and Wood, A. (2003) ‘Wetland cultivation and hydrological management in eastern Africa: Matching community and hydrological needs through sustainable wetland useNatural Resources Forum , 27 (2), pp. 117-129. ISSN 01650209


Wood, A., Apthorpe, R. and Borton, J. (2002) Evaluer l'action humanitaire . Paris, France: Karthala. ISBN 2-84586-312-8


Wood, A (2001) ‘Sustaining the flow: community management of highland wetlands in south-west Ethiopia’. In: Mountains of the World: Community Development between Subsidy, Subsidiarity and Sustainability, 30 September - 4 October 2001, Interlaken, Switzerland

Wood, A (2001) ‘The role and importance of wetlands in Ethiopia.’. In: Proceedings of the Wetland Awareness Creation and activity Identification workshop in Amhara Regional State, January 23rd 2001, Bahar Dar, Ethiopia.. : Wetland Action. pp. 8-12. ISBN 1862180342

Dixon, A., Hailu, A. and Wood, A. (2001) Proceedings of the Wetland Awareness Creation and Activity Identification workshop in Amhara Regional State, January 23rd 2001, Bahar Dar, Ethiopia. . Huddersfield: Wetland Action. ISBN 1862180342

Wood, A (2001) ‘Wetlands, policies and environmental assessment.’. In: Proceedings of the Wetland Awareness Creation and activity Identification workshop in Amhara Regional State, January 23rd 2001, Bahar Dar, Ethiopia.. : Wetland Action. pp. 60-64. ISBN 1862180342


Wood, A (1993) ‘Natural resource conflicts in south-west Ethiopia: state, communities and the role of the National Conservation Strategy in the search for sustainable developmentScandinavian Journal of African Studies , pp. 83-102.


International Water Management Institute, Visiting Scientist, Africa Office - 2004 to 2006

Leverhulme Trust, Fellowship Grant - 2003 to 2005

British Council, College of Link Advisors - 1999 to 2005

British Council Link Coordinator, Huddersfield / Addis Ababa Universities - 1993 t0 2004

IUCN, Commission for Environmental Strategy & Planning - 1991 to 1997

Royal Geographical Society – Fellow - 1972 to present

Consultant to a range of major international development agencies (engagements in last 15 years)


United Nations Development Programme / Nile Basin Initiative, 2007 - Rwanda and Burundi Socio-economic Development and Benefit Sharing Project Proposals.
Advisor / Reviewer

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 2007-2011 – Guidelines on Agriculture and Wetland Interactions (GAWI) – a scoping analysis.
Lead Consultant, Co-Editor, Chapter Author and Field Trainer

Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation (DGIS) and Wetlands International, 2005-2008 – Striking a Balance - Sustainable Wetland Management for Poverty Reduction and Ecosystem Services in Zambia and Malawi.
Coordinator and Technical Adviser

Big Lottery, Harvest Help, 2005-2006 – Wetland and Livelihoods Development, Malawi
Consultant, Field Team Leader, Trainer

UN Global Mechanism of the Convention to Combat Desertification, 2005-2006 – Wetland and Catchment Rehabilitation, Lake Tana Basin, Ethiopia.
Advisor to Local NGO, EWNRA

Leverhulme Fellowship, 2003-2005 – Dambo Use and Sustainable Poverty Reduction in Zambia.
Researcher, IWMI Research Fellow and NGO Trainer

Dept. for International Development (DFID), UK, & World Bank, 2003-04 – Institutional Analysis for Environmental Management, Ethiopia.
Joint Lead Researcher

Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation & Wetlands International, 2003 – Wetlands and Food Security in south-west Ethiopia.

European Union, Harvest Help, 2003 – Upper Valley Use for Livelihood Diversification in Kaoma, Western Province, Zambia.
Team Leader

Economic and Social Research Council, UK, 2002-3 – Social capital and wetland management institutions in south-west Ethiopia.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature & Natural Resources (IUCN), 2001-2002 – Final Evaluation and Lessons Learning Study for the Conservation Strategy of Ethiopia
Team leader

AUSAid and Active Learning Network on Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Assistance (ALNAP) 1999-2000 – Doing Humanitarian Evaluations.
Coordinator and Senior Editor

Research Degree Supervision

Postdoctoral Fellows

Patrick Abbot, 1997 - 2000: Ethiopia Wetlands Research Programme (EU Funded)

Bekure W. Semait, 1993: Addis Ababa University (British Council Fellowship)

Teaching and Professional Activities

External Examiner at 7 different universities in UK, Norway and the Netherlands