Astrium GEO-Information Services is partnering with the Forestry Commission of Ghana and the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services at the University of Ghana (CERSGIS) to establish a forest monitoring capability in Ghana.
The agreement between GIZ (the German international cooperation agency) and Astrium GEO-Information Services was signed in December 2011 and the project is intended to be completed within 1.5 years.
The objectives of the project are to:
- Enable national stakeholders to better manage forest resources in Ghana
- Improve quantification and monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation
- Enhance the efficiency of the current national forest assessment
- Contribute to national efforts towards a future low-carbon economy, by better protecting and managing Ghana’s natural resources
The project is driven by the international post-Kyoto negotiations, which require a challenging implementation of a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification system for REDD+ (Reduction of Deforestation and Forest Degradation) at national level.
More than 20 participants from the main project partners attended a project kick-off meeting in Accra, Ghana, in March 2012. In addition, experts from the National Forest Service took the opportunity to learn more about the project goals and schedule.
The project incorporates extensive training including:
- Data analysis and interpretation methods for forest monitoring emphasising SAR data analysis
- Remote sensing and forest inventory technologies for accurate and transparent quantification of deforestation and forest degradation
- Training to implement in-situ measurement campaigns at various selected test sites
All training activities are carried out at the CERSGIS' Training facility located at the University of Ghana. At least 15 candidates from several organisations are selected for training. The overall training concept is based on a “train the trainer” approach, enabling the trainees to organise and conduct further workshops for other groups in the country. Astrium thus facilitates knowledge transfer for forest monitoring and measuring techniques to enable Ghana to develop its own dependable in-country expertise.
With support from Astrium, Ghana will be able to establish a reliable and sustainable national forest inventory system matching REDD+ requirements. What’s more, the project is expected to stimulate the national geo-information market for other applications like oil and gas, agriculture and spatial planning.