A new research centre for sustainability and resilience enhancement strategy against climate and ecosystems changes has been established at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Nyankpala.
The Professor Kazuhiko Tekeuchi Centre for Sustainability and Resilience (KTCSR) was opened under an “Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa” project.
The project is a five-year (2011-2016) collaborative and interdisciplinary research initiative between Ghanaian institutions namely the UDS, University of Ghana United Nations University Institute of Natural Resources in Africa and Ghana Meteorological Agency and Japan-based institutions, and foreign partners namely the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, University of Tokyo and Kyoto University under the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development.
Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, Vice Chancellor of UDS, speaking at the commissioning of the centre in the Nyankpala campus of UDS on Thursday, said the relevance of the timing of the collaborative research could not be over emphasized considering the impact climate change and ecosystem changes have had on developing countries.
He said universities must be more relevant and responsive to their communities in ensuring a better future in matters of pollution, global warming, poverty alleviation and disease control.
Prof. Teye said UDS was well positioned to take the challenge since its curriculum was designed to equip graduates with the needed skills to better serve their communities through the Third Trimester Field Practical Programme (TTFPP), and would collaborate effectively to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the project.
Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Executive Director of Integrated Research Systems for Sustainability Science at the University of Tokyo, said adaptation strategies to overcome the adverse impacts of climate change, particularly in the vulnerable regions of the world, needed to be developed locally.
He said the project has made significant efforts aimed at building and strengthening resilience at individual, household, community and institutional levels, saying “at the community level, CECAR Africa has initiated numerous intervention strategies at its case study areas including six drought prone communities in Tolon District of the Northern Region and four flood prone communities in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region.
Major project research activities and intervention efforts include developing a regional climate change prediction model, estimating climate change by dynamical down scaling and statistical down scaling, field-work based quantitative/statistical analysis of the discrepancy between the actual and potential production, caused by climate change and technological limitation among others.