NASRDA collaborates with UNDP to tackle deforestation

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ABUJA – National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) said on Tuesday in Abuja it was collaborating with UNDP to address deforestation in the country.
 NASRDA Director-General, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, stated this at a two-day 2014 space week conference Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD).
The theme of the conference is “Sustainable Socio-Economic Benefits of Space Technology’’.
The centre is an activity unit NASRDA with a mandate to build indigenous satellite and capacity development.
“We are currently working with UNDP on deforestation in Cross River state and with Ministry of Environment to address desertification in belt of the whole of West African,” he said.
Mohammed said the agency had provided useful information to organisations in the country to assist in assessing climate change to improve socio economic development in the nation.
“By showing , settlement, drainage pattern and density that enable to plan well, where to dig dams, road construction, among others and this has impacted directly on economic development.
“When you show the location of farms, and what will be expected in terms of yields in a particular year that impacts the economic development.
“If we put all these together, satellite building and design for the nation is no longer a luxury,” he said.
According to him, the responsibility of the agency as a service provider is to support ministries and other agencies in terms of imagery in area of health observation, navigation satellite and communication satellite.
“We have made satellite imagery available to a numbers of agencies; for example more than 10 universities have been given images and the images  given to each of the universities is valued at  more than 100 million.
“This means we have contributed more that I billion naira to Nigerian universities to strengthen knowledge and improve their geographical information laboratories,’’’ he said.
The director of the centre, Dr Spencer Onuh, commended the effort of in funding the space programme.
According to him, the centre is ready to indigenously design and manufacture satellites in Nigeria if given challenged with the right climate for operations.
Onuh affirmed that the centre would partner with industries and embark on cutting edge research and technology to boost the development of science and technology initiatives.(NAN)