Drones to assess progress along the Great Green Wall

It looks like crowd-droning pilots under the wings of Globhe are about to get really busy, at least in Ghana.

The drone services provider has just scored a major partnership deal with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on the use of innovative technology to better assess baobab tree populations along the northern Ghana section of the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative.

And Globhe might just be the perfect partner for this task – for the company has a global database of drone operators from all over the world who possess drone flying skills as well as the mapping and earth observations skills the GGW project needs in its quest for a sustainable future.

In this partnership, Globhe’s pilots will deploy drones to collect high-resolution data, which will help the UNCCD experts to plan and recommend necessary responses at the right place, at the right scale and at the right time.

The Baobab Tree. Video: Marc-Anthony Johnson

“We, at Globhe, are proud to be part of this unprecedented initiative with the UNCCD and its partners,” said Arnaud Henneville-Wedholm, Head of Sales & Business Development at Globhe.

“By improving the understanding of tree populations, stakeholders will be in a position to accelerate the development of sustainable business models that directly benefit local communities.

“We love these types of initiatives that put drone technology to good use for both the people and the planet.”

The joint project with UNCCD will focus on combining macro satellite data with high-resolution micro data from drones to accelerate the verification of tree species in Northern Ghana, supporting the implementation of the GGW.

Launched in 2007 by the African Union, the Great Green Wall initiative aims to restore the continent’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives in the Sahel region. 

The overall goal is to restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded land; sequester 250 million tons of carbon and create 10 million green jobs by 2030.

The ambitious project is being implemented across 22 African countries and proponents hope it will revitalise thousands of communities across the continent.

The Great Green Wall. Picture: National Geographic

Financed to the tune of $8billion so far, the game-changing initiative brings together African countries and international partners under the leadership of the African Union Commission and the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green.

aside from Ghana, other countries involved include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, The Gambia and Tunisia.

The project will help communities living along the Wall to nurture one of humanity’s most precious natural assets: fertile land; foster economic opportunities for the world’s youngest population; ensure food security for the millions that go hungry every day; raise the level of climate resilience in a region where temperatures are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth; and create a green new world wonder spanning 8000km.

One of the trees being planted in the Baobab tree; an icon of the African landscape, revered as the tree of life that provides essential shelter, produces nutrient-dense fruits and stores water from the rainy season for the dry season.

Baobab trees can live up to 2,500 years, growing to 50 meters in circumference and reach up to 30 meters high.

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