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Seminar! Seminar!! Seminar!!!

26 August 2019

The Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), University of Ghana, Legon, warmly invites the University community to a seminar by guest presenters Drs. Peter Bilson Obour and Dieudonne Alemagi.


This presentations will be followed immediately by the Orientation for First Year MPhil and PhD students of the Institute at 3pm prompt. All students are required to attend. 

Tuesday, August 27 2019
Auditorium, International House
Presentation 1: Compaction changes soil structural characteristics and the range of water content for soil workability (Dr. Peter Bilson Obour)


Soil structure governs key soil functions such as soil aeration and soil water retention, which in turn affect soil performance in terms of plant growth and physical habitat for soil biota. Soil is threatened globally, and compaction is one of the major causes of soil degradation. The objectives of this contribution were to: (1) evaluate the effects of compaction treatments on soil structure based on the numerical visual evaluation of subsoil structure (SubVESS) method and on quantitative measurements of soil pore characteristics in a sandy loam, and (2) quantify the consequences of compaction on the range of water content for soil workability in a loam soil. Assessment using the SubVESS method showed a marked effect of the severe compaction (with a tractor-trailer combination with max. wheel load of ~8 Mg, M8) treatment on soil structural quality down to ~0.65 m depth, but the effects of the soil compacted with a tractor-trailer combination with max. wheel load of ~3 Mg were not significantly different from the control at any depth. This was confirmed by the laboratory-measured data, which showed that the M8 treatment drastically reduced total porosity, air-filled porosity and air permeability. Compaction also reduced the range of water contents for tillage, albeit insignificant.


About the presenter

Peter Bilson Obour holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography and Resource Development from the University of Ghana, Ghana, MPhil in Environmental Science: Human and Socio-economic Dimensions from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, MSc in Agro-Environmental Management from Aarhus University, Denmark and a PhD in Agroecology (Soil Physics and Hydropedology) from the same university in Denmark. His research interest areas are soil management and soil structure, soil fragmentation and friability, soil-tillage and traffic interactions, soil quality and soil health, soil compaction, natural resources use and climate change, agriculture and food security.


Presentation 2: Advancing REDD+ Implementation in Ghana and Cameroon (Dr. Dieudonne Alemagi)


The government of Cameroon and Ghana have both introduced a series of forest policy reforms to promote a more sustainable and equitable management of its forests. Despite these reforms, the rate of deforestation and forest degradation in Cameroon and Ghana remain very high. For instance, the rate of deforestation in Cameroon is one of the highest in the Congo Basin. Ghana has one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa and the world. As a corrective measure, Cameroon and Ghana have taken interest in REDD+.  REDD+ is a mechanism to support the voluntary efforts of developing countries to mitigate climate change by reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, promoting conservation and the sustainable management of their forests, and enhancing forest carbon stocks. A series of studies relevant for the REDD+ mechanism have been conducted in Cameroon and Ghana. To date, however, there remains a paucity of literature that examines REDD+ implementation in Ghana and Cameroon and prescribes policy recommendations for improvement. Therefore, the overall objective of the proposed project is to identify strategies and approaches for promoting REDD+ implementation in Cameroon and Ghana. A variety of methodologies including literature reviews and structured interviews will be used to meet this objective.


About the presenter

Dr. Alemagi Dieudonne holds a Ph.D in Environmental and Resource Management from Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Germany. During his career, he has published more than 50 publications including peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, policy briefs, and reports in the area of forest policy as well climate change mitigation and adaptation in Cameroon and the Congo Basin. His papers have appeared in international journals such as Climate Policy, Energy Policy, Forest Policy and Economics, Land Use Policy, Resources Policy, among others. Dr. Alemagi was a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Recently, he was also a scientist at the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) at its West and Central Africa Regional Office in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Dr. Alemagi has recently won an African Academy of Science grant to conduct research on Advancing REDD+ Implementation in Ghana and Cameroon and he is being hosted by the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana.