Harland Rivas Cooper

Harland Rivas Cooper


Harland Rivas Cooper is a PhD student in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Leeds. He is investigating the potential opportunities and barriers to climate change resilience for a medium-sized city in Central America. His research centres on how environmental policies relate to climate change adaptation plans, risks and hazards planning at the local level and the way different stakeholders’ interest-relationships shapes water governance in central American cities. His previous work has focused on the impact of natural disturbances (hurricanes) on natural and sustainably managed tropical forests in Honduras. This work has given him some insights into weather-related phenomena affecting rural communities and the chain of forest products and services delivered to urban communities.

He has over 15 years’ experience as a community-based forest development manager, which involved community drinking water projects, community ecotourism, forest, and wildlife conservation projects in central and South America between 1996 and 2015. Harland holds a MSc degree on Tropical Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation from the Tropical Agriculture Centre for Research and Higher Education - CATIE, Costa Rica and a BSc in Tropical Forest Management from the Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). He prefers to read research papers in Roundhay Park by the lake, in Leeds, which is ideal when it is not a wet day.


Research interests

His current research interests are interdisciplinary and centre on:

  • water governance
  • climate change adaptation
  • urban vulnerability and risks
  • local government and development
  • resilient cities to climate change


  • M.Sc. Tropical Forest Management & Biodiversity Conservation
  • B.Sc. Tropical Forest Management

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Environment and Development
  • Sustainable Cities