The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) through the Earth Observation Research and Innovation Centre (EORIC) has commissioned a state-of-the-art Carbon Flux Monitoring Tower stationed at the Bia Tano Forest Reserve in the Ahafo Region.
The 55m tower Project, which began in 2016 in partnership with the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CzechGlobe) aimed of quantifying CO2 flux exchange at a typical tropical Ghanaian forest ecosystem level, to understand the regional variability of greenhouse gas and to assess the carbon sequestration capacity of these forest ecosystems, as well as to enhance Africa‘s capabilities to undertake climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.
At Commissioning Ceremony for the Project on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako in his speech noted that the UENR-CzechGlobe joint research station is one of the few flux towers in Africa and the first of its kind owned by a public-funded University in the Sub-Saharan region. He added that the establishment of the experimental station at the Bia Tano forest will address the challenge of carbon flux data gaps and provide helpful information on the carbon sequestration potential of the tropical Ghanaian forest system amidst emerging global climate change issues. He commended the Project Team for their efforts that enabled the Project station’s commissioning and affirmed that the University remains grateful to CzechGlobe and the other partners for their financial and technical support.
In his address, the Director at CzechGlobe, Prof. Michal V. Marek, explained that the Project forms part of his dream 10 years ago to establish an Institute of Global Change and research in the Czech Republic and beyond. He said the Project idea seeks to produce excellent results in solving the consequences of Global Change in society and the tropics. He also noted that it was prudent to begin such a new project in Africa with UENR which is an emerging and promising University. He specifically commended Prof. Amos T. Kabo-bah who was then, the Head of EORIC, for his efforts and contribution towards the successful implementation of the project. He wished for the long-term existence of the Project to complement the addition of data on the world’s global change.
Mr. Constant Gladzah, the Ag. Chief Director, of the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), delivered a speech on behalf of the Minister, Hon. Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, who was scheduled as the Guest Speaker for the occasion. Mr. Gladzah acknowledged that the Project is timely in providing solutions to escalating climate change issues in recent times. He noted that the Ministry would continue to support adaption and mitigation measures which are in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
In an overview of the Project, the Head of EORIC, Ing. Dr. Emmanuel Nyantakyi said seeing the Project Commissioned adds to the University’s achievements. He expressed appreciation to the technical team at the Centre who have worked closely with the international partners since the commencement of the Project.
Addressing the gathering, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Jan Fury, lauded the Team for working earnestly to execute the Project. He recounted that Ghana and the Czech Republic have a long-standing relationship with various developmental initiatives undertaken since the relationship was established. The Ambassador reiterated that his Embassy remains committed to building the agriculture and education industry, especially in Ghana because these areas contribute to the Country’s gross domestic growth.
The Bono Regional Minister, Hon. Justina Owusu-Banahene, speaking before the commissioning of the Project, said Ghana is fast losing its wildlife and biodiversity, and through the Carbon monitoring tower, Scientists in UENR can contribute their knowledge to the government’s effort to fight the negative impact of climate change on the human society and the wild ecosystem. She called on the international community and the Sector Ministry, MESTI for more partnerships to combat climate change.
Other Partners of the Project are the Ministry of Education, the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), the Forestry Commission, the Lancaster Environment Centre and Lancaster University.