University of Energy installs satellite-based data dissemination system

The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) on Thursday began a two-day workshop on the use of the GEONETCast workstation for energy and natural resources management.

The GEONETCast is a near real time global network of satellite-based data dissemination system designed to distribute space-based, air-borne and in-situ data, metadata and products to diverse communities.

It is the first of its kind to be installed in Ghana and has the capacity to help lecturers and researchers in academic institutions to monitor drought, floods, food security and general climate dynamics in the country.

The workshop is being attended by 22 participants comprising scientists, engineers, researchers, geographers, mathematicians and natural resources experts from the UENR, Catholic University College of Ghana and Sunyani Polytechnic both in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

GEONETCast is an innovation by UENR, serving as the centre in the country where the satellite has been installed behind a technical office fitted with computers for users to access information on subject and sector specific areas.

Dr Ben Maathuis, Associate Professor, Department of Water Resources, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation at the University of Twente in The Netherlands, the main resource person, said the GEONETCast project was borne out of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

The GEO, which was launched in response to calls for action by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, is coordinating efforts to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Dr Maathuis said the GEO “Is a voluntary partnership of governments and international organisations that provide a framework within which these partners can develop new projects and coordinate their strategies and investments”.

Member States of GOE as at March 2012 included 88 governments and the European Commission in addition to 67 inter-governmental, international and regional organisations with a mandate on earth observation or related issues.

Dr Maathuis said “GEO is constructing GEOSS on the basis of a ‘10-Year Implementation Plan’ for the period 2005 to 2015”.

Dr Maathuis said GOESS would yield a broad range of societal benefits including reducing loss of life and property from natural and human-induced disasters, understanding environmental factors affecting human health and well-being and improving the management of energy resources.

Other benefits would be the understanding, assessing, predicting, mitigating and adapting to climate variability and change, improving water resource management through better understanding of the water cycle and improving weather information, forecasting and warning.

The rest would be improving the management and protection of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, supporting sustainable agriculture and combating desertification and understanding, monitoring and conserving biodiversity.

Prof Mrs Esi Awuah, Vice-Chancellor of UENR, said the workshop was an opportunity for the country to equip itself to surmount the negative impact of climate change.

She said African countries were vulnerable and urgently needed to adopt measures against the rapid devastating effects of climate change to avoid disaster on the continent.

Source: GNA

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