The UK Space Agency Funding the Forest 2020 Project To Save Cocoa Agriculture in Ghana

23rd Sep 2020
Ghana UKSA Funding

Ghana, a West African nation, is receiving funding from the UK Space Agency on an Earth Observation project. The contractors on the ground are a company known as Ecometrica. This UKSA project is to look into forest resources in Ghana and put more insight into how the cocoa growth in Ghana causes the deforestation problem.

Ivory Coast is Ghana’s biggest competition in producing cocoa in Africa and the trees and the forests are paying the price as a sacrifice of its progress in the country. This is one of many planned expansions of the UKSA development schemes worldwide.

Who are the Key Players in this Project?

The first players on the task are the UK Space Agency, then the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s (KNUST) Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources. The government’s own Forestry commission Resource Management Support Center is also onboard Ecometrica. In support of this, UK Space Agency funding includes additional UK based facilities like Cabo map, the University of Leicester, and the University of Edinburgh.

The group leader will be Professor Emmanuel Acheampong, a scholar from KNUST. He stated that prior work was done on the Deforestation project and the UK Space Agency funding enhances the program.

The current visible progress shows that the jungles have been able to separate from the cocoa farms. Cocoa farming has aided deforestation before and so segregation saves forest life in the country, creating a manageable system for both.

The UKSA, Ecometrica, and Ghana project’s endgame helps Ghana better manage cocoa farming without narrowing the forest cover in the country.

The Duration of the Program

The set timeline for the completion was to be three years and was to conclude this year but plans had to be changed after the Coronavirus pandemic hit. The project is now set to be completed in 2021.

So far, they have used the technology to see when encroachment occurs in the forest. The system then put in place an alarm that is triggered when any form of forest shrinkage occurs. This technological UK Space Agency funding includes satellite visuals, sensors, ground trudging and local inputs to confirm the encroachment. After the confirmation appropriate action is taken.

This alert system is intended to halt any danger posed in the forest before it spreads any further. The RMSC-Forestry Commission Head of Geo-Information Unit, Yakubu Mohammed, clearly indicated the above.

Depending on the images and ground assessment, the appropriate action is taken against cases like human settlement, timber harvesting, or farming.

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