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Fafali Roy Ziga-Abortta




Fafali R. Ziga-Abortta

M.Sc. Environmental Governance
Professur für Forst- und Umweltpolitik
Tennenbacher Str. 4
D - 79106 Freiburg i. Br.
Room 04067
Telefon: +49 761 203-3716
Telefax: (0761) 203 - 3705


Fafali Roy Ziga-Abortta is currently undertaking his PhD research on the role of policy networks and institutional vulnerabilities in flood disaster risk management. His work at the chair of forest and environmental policy broadly entails sustainability research and environmental policy analysis and specifically how actors interact amongst themselves and with governance arrangements, while integrating both quantitative (e.g. social network analysis) and qualitative (e.g. interviews, document analysis) approaches. 

Prior to his current position, he had worked as a Research Assistant at the Oeko Institute, Freiburg. Amongst other tasks, he worked directly on the BIO-MACHT interdisciplinary project with a focus on “Power Aspects in Global Value Chains”. He co-authored the final report on Due Diligence, Certification, and Legality Verification of Timber from DR Congo. He has also undertaken extensive research on Timber Legality Verification in the context of the EU FLEGT VPAs with a special focus on Ghana.

Research Interests

I am an interdisciplinary researcher with a passion for developing innovative tools and participatory approaches to analyse vulnerability to natural hazards, social adaptation strategies and policy interventions in flood disaster risk management. My interest also includes policy dynamics between national forest governance in timber producing tropical countries and timber trade/legality regulation in the European union.

Specific research focus:

  • Forest and global Environmental governance regimes
  • Due diligence, legal timber verification, and accountability in global supply chains
  • Resilience and vulnerability to natural hazards
  • Flood risk management and disaster risk reduction



  • 2020-present

PhD Researcher, Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg, Germany.

Working Title: Policy networks and institutional vulnerability: a governance perspective on flood disaster risk management in Ghana.

  • 2017-2019

M.Sc. Environmental Governance, University of Freiburg, Germany.

Thesis: The Effectiveness of Timber Legality Verification Regime: a Case of Ghana's Legality Assurance System (GhLAS).

  • 2011-2015

B.Sc. Integrated Development Studies, Evangelical Presbyterian University College, Ghana. 

Thesis: Community Participation and Sustainable Forest Resource Management: a case of the Kalakpa Resource Reserve.


Current Projects

  • 2020-2023

PARADeS - Participatory assessment of flood related disaster prevention and development of an adapted coping system in Ghana


Professional Experience

  • 08/2020 — present

Junior Researcher, Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg.

Research on the role of policy networks in flood and related disaster risk management policy.

  • 06/2019 — 11/2019

Research Assistant, Oeko Institute, Freiburg.

Comparative research on timber legality verification in Ghana and the DR Congo.

  • 05/2020-07/2020

Research Assistant, Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg.

Literature review work on extraction of illegal natural resources (timber, wildlife, fisheries & minerals) 

  • 08/2018 — 10/2018

Scientific Assistant Intern, Oeko Institute, Freiburg.

Research and evaluation of international timber trade policies and measures, in particular on comparative international due diligence and certification schemes (EU Timber Regulation, FSC certificate, legality verification etc.) on the BIOMACHT project (with focus on Timber from the DRC, Cotton from Ethiopia and Palm Oil from Indonesia).



  • NEEDS 2021 | 21–23 September 2021 [Session]: Institutional settings in flood hazard and risk management

“An institutional vulnerability perspective on Flood Disaster Risk Management in Ghana”

  • vEGU21: Gather Online | 19–30 April 2021 [Session HS1.2.1]

“Stakeholder Participation in Flood-Related Disaster Risk Management in Ghana”

  • IFPM3: 17-18 March 2021 | Session 2.3. Individual presentations: Forest trade and legality

“Effectiveness of the Transnational Timber Legality Verification Regime: the case of Ghana’s Timber, Legality Assurance System (GhLAS)”


Scholarships and Highlights

  • 2017-2019

Recipient of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship for Master’s in Environmental Governance at the University of Freiburg

  • 02/2021

Top finalist, 'Three Minute Thesis' (3MT) Competition, Graduate School of Environment, Society and Global Change (ESGC), University of Freiburg.




Carodenuto, S., Ziga-Abortta, F. R., Sotirov, M. (2024): External Europeanization through timber trade agreements: Tracing causality in environmental governance reform. Political Geography 109, March 2024, 103065.

Evers, M., Almoradie, A., Ntajal, J., Höllermann, B., Johann, G., Meyer, H., Kruse, S., Ziga-Abortta, F., Bachmann, D., Schotten, R., Lumor, M., Norman, C. & Adjei, K. (2024). Lessons Learned from PARADeS Project for Flood Disaster Risk Planning and Management in Ghana.

Kruse, S., Riemann, L., Pareek, K., Ziga-Abortta, F.R. & Höllermann, B. (Eds.) Enhancing collaboration in flood disaster risk management. [MOOClecture] Available at 

Ziga-Abortta, F. R., & Kruse, S. (2023). What drives vulnerability? Explaining the institutional context of flood disaster risk management in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 97, 104054. 

Evers, M., Kruse, S., Almoradie, A. & Tuschen, M. (Eds.) (2023). Managing Flood Disaster Risk in Ghana. Findings, Products and Recommendations. 

Evers, M., Almoradie, A., Ntajal, J., Höllermann, B., Johann, G., Meyer, H., Schüttrumpf, A., Kruse, S., Ziga-Abortta, F. R., Bachmann, D., Schotten, R., Lumor, M., Norman, C., & Adjei, K. (2023). Pro-active flood risk managment using a transdisciplinary multi-method-approach. egusphere-egu23-11980

Ziga-Abortta, F. R., S. Kruse, B. Höllermann and J. Ntajal (2021): Stakeholder Participation in Flood-Related Disaster Risk Management in Ghana. Geophysical Research Abstracts EGU21-10819. 

Schleicher, T.; Ziga-Abortta, F. R., Hennenberg, K. (2019): Due Diligence, Certification and Legality Verification of Timber from the DR Congo. Oeko Institute.

Enuameh-Agbolosoo, A.D.; Enuameh, A.S.; Kotoka, J.J.; Ziga-Abortta, F.; Dabi, M. (2015): Community Participation in Forest Resource Management as a Tool in Reducing the Effects of Climate Change and Enhancing Sustainable Development. The IJHSS journal, Vol iii, issue viii.


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