Global greenhouse gas monitoring research station inaugurated at UENR

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The Czech Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Jan Fury, has inaugurated an International Greenhouse Gas Monitoring and Global Change Research Center for the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UNNR) in Sunyani.

The Bia Tano station is a joint scientific research project between the UENR, the Global Change Research Institute (CzechGlobe) of the Czech Republic and other government institutions including the Forestry Commission of Ghana and the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG).

It will be responsible for direct measurements of forest-atmosphere exchanges of carbon dioxide, water, energy and other trace gases that will allow the university to observe the entire forest ecosystem metabolism (including soil measurements).

The station will empower the university to measure the role of forests as sources of trace gases, inputs of gaseous pollutants and nutrients, and the role of the country’s tropical forests in cleaning the atmosphere through carbon uptake from the atmosphere.

Mr Fury pointed out that the Czech embassy in Accra had operated for almost 70 years and helped Ghana in a number of related sectors, including the construction industry, agriculture and education.

He said the embassy sought to re-examine its bilateral ties with Ghana after COVID-19, focusing on security and defence, and agriculture, cyber security and infrastructure, adding that the embassy would put more checks into Ghana’s agriculture. Was working hard to introduce companies. Area.

“We feel that agriculture is an important sector of the Ghanaian economy that not only provides food, but also has great potential to provide employment to the youth,” he said.

With the opening of the station, Mr Furey said Czech had opened a new chapter in the environment, showing that “we believe the environment is the engine of the future.”

Mr. Fury said, “You only have one country and the air, the nature and water you have in your country is an important factor for the survival of the nation,” and expressed hope that the project would continue to be an excellent initiative for the university. and inspire other universities and institutions in Ghana.

UNNR Vice-Chancellor Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako expressed his appreciation to the Embassy, ​​the Government, CzechGlobe and its entire local communities, who had helped in diverse ways towards the growth and development of the University.

He said that though it is still one of the youngest public universities in the country, the university can boast of its tremendous contribution to scientific research and education since its inception 10 years ago.

“The establishment of this international greenhouse gas monitoring station in the Bia Tano Forest Reserve presents a great potential to make progress in the long-standing challenge of measuring and estimating the impact of extreme weather events on carbon sequestration potential in a typical tropical Ghanaian forest, ” Pro. Asare-Bediako indicated.

The project is well suited to the university’s mission to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary research and education in water, disasters, energy, climate, agriculture, ecosystems, weather, health and biodiversity.

Professor Asare-Bediako said that such scientific research studies need to be carried out in the country’s rich tropical forests, which have their own unique and distinct forest biogeocenosis that are physiologically and ecologically different from other tropical forests.

The UENR CheckGlobe Joint Research Station is one of the few flux towers on the African continent collecting carbon flux data over a tropical primary forest, and the first of a public funded university within the sub-Saharan African region to conduct such important research. Sole Proprietorship. ,

“The development of GHG emissions and sink inventories at both national and regional scales within Africa is important for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to formulate comprehensive climate policies and as an important metric for climate, energy and environmental sustainability. Implementation is key,” he added.

The lack of such quality carbon flux data and critical information on the sequestration potential of African tropical forest ecosystems under varying climate conditions makes it difficult for many countries such as Ghana to accurately report on the challenges and successes of the Sustainable Development Goals. 13 – Climate action.

As a result, Professor Asare-Bediako said the research would further strengthen the underlying greenhouse gas inventory management and measurement, reporting and verification systems of Ghana’s annual report to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Environment, Science. technology, and innovation.

“Furthermore, the results of this project can be used to regulate deforestation and support national development of agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) carbon projects (such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)).” For”, he said.

Professor Asare-Bediako said that the university and Ghana are grateful to CheckGlobe for financial and technical support, adding that as part of the existing MoU between the two institutions, CheckGlobe has developed the eddy-covariance system and meteorological sensors. Donated a set as well. Approximately $US200,000 for installation at a forest research site for long-term carbon flux measurement and monitoring.

He has also trained three staff in Ph.D. program and a technician to help manage the station when the project is fully operational and contributed a further approximately US$30,000.

“We also received financial support of around £10,000 sterling, which included a donation from Lancaster University’s Lancaster Environmental Center for some additional meteorological sensors to be installed on the station,” he added.

The VC assured that the university is committed to such international research partnerships, as “we contributed financially (Gh¢) to support the travel expenses of our staff to set up the 56m tower and prepare the station. 400,000.00).

Professor Asare-Bediako appealed to the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to assist the university with both technical and financial support for the management of the site.

“We also call upon the Czech Embassy to support our scientific cooperation with CzechGlobe by helping with easy transportation of our technicians and scientists to the station regularly for maintenance and other operational activities.

The station is about three hours drive from the university and such support would be highly appreciated,” he said.

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