The Earth Observation Research and Innovation Centre (EORIC) under the University Energy and Natural Resources UENR Sunyani, has organized a one day workshop under theme; The Role of Ghanaian Tropical Forest in Greenhouse Gas Exchange and Carbon Sequestration, the workshop was aimed at introducing a partnered project with Czech Republic on Carbon Tower Monitoring System at the Bia Tano Forest Reserve in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Center in collaboration with the Global Change Research Institute (CzechGlobe), under the Academy of Sciences in Czech Republic would monitor, quantify model carbon and water energy fluxes that are of vital importance for understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of global carbon cycle through a direct or indirect situ measurement system called Eddy Covariance Technique.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor of UENR, Professor Emmanuel Opuni-Frimpong in his presentation said from a socio-ecological point of view, the water and carbon cycles are critical for the regulation and support of ecosystem. He said there was the need to evaluate the influence of these processes on atmospheric dynamics and estimate the potential ecosystem services provided to human populations and provide relevant information in defining policies for ecosystem management and conservation.
Professor Opuni said the network (CarboGH and CzechGlobe) was expected to improve our understanding of how climate variability and environmental changes influence the dynamics of the Ghanaian ecosystems.
Speaking at the workshop, Professor Michal Marek of (CzechGlobe) said water deficiency was the prime cause of global change problem which he said had affected the socio-economic activities in the world. He expressed worry about the increased sun radiation of about 36 degree Celsius in Ghana and Europe and added that, special facilities should be established to respond to these changes in atmospheric conditions, which was a challenge for all.
According to Proffessor Marek, an 80 meter high tower valued at €300,000 would be mounted at the Bia Tano Forest Reserve to collect essential scientific data that would be used extensively for verification and turning of regional and global climate models, mesoscale weather models, complex biogeochemical, ecological models and remote sensing estimates from satellites and aircraft on climate change. He said the research project would help assess the carbon sequestration capacity of natural tropical forest that would affect futures national decision making in climate change mitigation policies.
He announced that as part of the project, CzechGlobe would be providing the sensors for carbon dioxide and water vapour flux monitoring through a joint European Union research grant by establishing (Tropcarbonet) Eddy sites network namely: CarboGH in UENR, Panamacarbo and Vietcarbo at the University of Panama and Vietnam which were some of their international activities.
Mr. Caleb Mensah of EORIC also took participants through the CarboGH site, its maintenance and productivity. He said the Eddy Covariance Technique Carbon Tower with an experimental station would be situated at the Bia Tano Forest Reserves which was also the research site for the School of Natural Resources, to give an idea of how the forest reserves react to the atmosphere and the exchange of carbon dioxide between the earth surface and the atmosphere.
He added that the project would be useful for research activities hence measures have been put in place to collaborate with the Ministry of Energy, Forestry Commission and Ghana Meteorological Agency to help maintain the facility. Mr. Mensah called on all Departments in UENR to help make the project reality.