Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology through the School of Civil Environmental and Geospatial Engineering is conducting a three-day workshop training for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Data for forest monitoring in collaboration with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI).
The training that commenced October 23, 2017, is part of the Forest 2020 Project, established by Ecometrica and UK Space Agency to help protect and restore up to 300 million hectares of tropical forests globally by improving forest monitoring in six partner countries; Kenya, Ghana, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico through advanced uses of satellite data.
Kenya Forest Service, Senior Assistant Director, Mr. Jamleck Ndambiri, said one of the aims of project is to leverage on the use of technology in forest monitoring to enhance the forest resource assessment method contributing to the development of the National Forest Monitoring System.
“The introduction of the SAR Data in forest monitoring will help the stakeholders have better access to information by combining the latest satellite data with useful contextual information in a faster and more accurate way,” said Mr. Ndambiri.
Regarding the capacity building aspect of the project, the Director is confident that JKUAT and KEFRI will be able to weave training and knowledge transfer throughout the project with regards to use of data and innovative platforms hence enhancing the sustainability of the project.
The Dean, School of Civil Environmental and Geospatial Engineering, Prof. Abiero Gariy, lauded the project managers for choosing JKUAT to foster the capacity building of the project saying “the project will enhance the industry-academia linkage propelling JKUAT to become a University of global excellence in training, research and innovation for development as envisaged in the University’s Vision statement.”
The Chairman, Department of Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information Systems, Dr. Felix Mutua, said as one of the institutions responsible for capacity building, JKUAT’s approach is to develop, test and integrate new innovative methods in order to make incremental improvements to established and emerging forest monitoring systems.
“This project seeks build on existing capacity and strengthen existing systems in the country by advancing what is technically possible and implementable with the help of all the forest stakeholders in the country,” said Dr. Mutua.
Dr. Mutua further said, the introduction of SAR Data in forest monitoring will help develop efficient methods for mapping forest at risk of deforestation and for identifying areas suitable for forest restoration.
The training that ends October 25, 2017 has drawn participants from JKUAT, KFS, KEFRI, Green Belt Movement, Regional Centre for Mapping and Department of Remote Sensing and Resource Mapping. Other UK partners involved in the Forest 2020 Project include the University of Edinburgh, University of Leicester and Carbonmap.