Land use workshop in Africa forges new partnerships for Lancaster Environment Centre

Attendees at the land use, land use change and forestry workshop in Ghana.
Attendees at the land use, land use change and forestry workshop in Ghana

A two-day workshop in Ghana organised by Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) focussed on land use, land use change and forestry in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The workshop aimed to develop an inter-disciplinary research partnership to further understand changes in land use and forestry across the region, and the impacts these changes have on climate and environment.

Held in the city of Sunyani in the Bono Region of Ghana, it brought together 70 participants from the UK, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana.

Participants were drawn from universities, research institutions like WASCAL, the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Forestry Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, and representatives of Ghanaian ministries.

The workshop provided an opportunity for UK and African researchers to establish areas of mutual research interest within Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF).

It also provided a platform for policy makers and researchers to interact and identify priority areas within LULUCF where research could make the most impact and affect lives and livelihoods positively.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Prof Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor of UENR, called for collaborative actions that would bring impactful change in the developmental aspirations in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He underlined the intricate challenges faced by Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of land use and forestry against the background of its abundant biodiversity and unique ecosystems.

He said sustainable land use and forest conservation in the region was undoubtedly complex, and stressed the need for striking a harmonious and sustainable balance between development and conservation, to ensure the resilience and well-being of the unique ecosystems and communities there.

He asked participants to think about the delicate interplay between ecological preservation, sustainable development, and human livelihoods.

Prof Kirk T. Semple, director of LEC, used the opportunity at the workshop to explain Lancaster University’s strategy and desire to collaborate with researchers in Africa on a wide range of topics.

He introduced the African Research and Innovation Partnership (ARIP) to the audience and highlighted ongoing research projects between Lancaster University and researchers across the African continent.

He also introduced various funding opportunities available for research in the environmental sciences and the process for accessing them.

The workshop was funded through a joint proposal submitted by LEC and UENR under the Networking Grants of Global Challenges Research Fund.

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