Ian Douglas

Ian Douglas, Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC)

Ian is Emeritus Professor of Geography in the School of Environment, Education and Development at the University of Manchester, UK. Since the 1960s, he has emphasised the human impact on the environment and the role of urban development in environmental change in his research, books and teaching. Ian has been involved in many associations and bodies concerned with the environment: he was President of the Institute of Australian Geographers in 1978, Chairman of the British Geomorphological Research Group in 1981, President of the Society for Human Ecology, Chairman of the UK UNESCO MAB Urban Forum (twice), President of the International Council for Ecopolis Development, and Chairman of the CHEC Governing Board 1999-2007. Ian has led several CHEC activities, including organising the joint international conference on Human Ecology in 2009, the EU-funded Asia-Pro-Eco project in Ahmedabad, two workshops on tropical rainforest field stations and many civil society sessions at CHOGM. He is dedicated to sustainable development and ensuring people know the environmental impacts of their activities and what they can do to ensure good quality of life for their grandchildren’s children.

His particular expertise in hydrology and erosion has seen him undertake consultancies with the Mekong River Commission and the UK Natural Environment Research Council where he was Science Co-ordinator of the Lowland Catchment Research Programme.  He has lectured on natural hazards at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and on Urban Ecology (including climate change impacts) at the Beijing Normal University. He has a foreign expert for the Taiwan National Climate Change Adaptation Programme and for the  Transport and Environment Committee of the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission.  His book “Cities: an environmental history” was published in 2013 and his textbook “Urban Ecology: an introduction”, co-authored with Philip James was published in October 2014.

Ian is also a regular contributor to the CHEC website:

Select Publications

Scott, M.J, A.G. Aguilar, I. Douglas, P.R. Epstein, D. Liverman, G.M. Mailu, E. Shove, A.F. Dlugolecki, K. Hanaki, Y.J. Huang, C.H.D. Magadza, J.G.J. Olivier, J. Parikh, T.H.R. Peries, J. Skea, and M. Yoshino. (1995). “Human Settlements in a Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation”, in R.T. Watson, M.C. Zinyowera, and R.H. Moss (eds) Climate Change 1995: Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scientific-Technical Analyses, Contribution of Working Group II to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press: New York, 399-426.

Douglas, I., A. Kurshid, M. Maghenda, Y. McDonnell, L. McLean and J. Campbell. (2008) “Unjust waters: climate change, flooding and the urban poor in Africa”,  Environment and Urbanization, 20 (1) , 187-205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956247808089156

(2009). “Climate change, flooding and food security in south Asia”, Food Security, 1, 127-136.

McDonald, R. I., I. Douglas, C. Revenga, R. Hale, N. Grimm, J. Grönwall, B. Fekete (2011). “Global Urban Growth and the Geography of Water Availability, Quality, and Delivery”, Ambio, 40, 437–44