In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Thursday with some of the participants from the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani said it would help government and decision-makers immensely to take bold decisions and institute pragmatic policies and measures for sustainable national development.
They explained that its effective use could assist in specific terms in national decisions and measures on the expected Societal Benefit Areas of Disaster, Health, Energy, Climate, Water, Weather, Ecosystems, Agriculture and Biodiversity.
The two-day workshop, organised by UENR was attended by 22 participants, comprising Scientists, Engineers, Researchers, Geographers, Mathematicians and Natural Resources Experts from UENR, Catholic University College of Ghana and Sunyani Polytechnic, all in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The GEONETCast is a near real time, global network of satellite-based data dissemination systems, designed to distribute space-based, air-borne and in-situ data, metadata and products to diverse communities.
It is the first of its kind to be installed in Ghana and has the capacity to help lecturers and researchers in academic institutions to monitor drought, floods, food security and general climate dynamics in the country.
GEONETCast is an international innovation initiated in Ghana by UENR as the centre in the country where the satellite has been installed behind a technical office fitted with computers for users to access information on subject and sector specific areas.
Dr Amos Kabo-Bah, Lecturer at the Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering and a Task Contributor of Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) said the system was to support decision making in the country.
He explained that the country currently might not be able to tell the level of land destruction and environmental degradation caused by galamsey operations as well the extent of water pollution.
Dr Kabo-bah described GEONETCast system as a box of information to provide answers to the challenges of the societal benefit areas, saying that it would help the country not to plan in vacuum because it would provide enough and accurate data to support effective planning.
He identified another advantage of the system as it offers free access to information, saying that, it would be a useful source of data for researchers and students because the burden of sometimes paying money before obtaining information would be avoided.
Dr Simon Abugri, an Agro-Forestry Lecturer at UENR noted that it would promote research in the field of natural resources.
Mr. James Agyei-Ohemeng, Principal Technician in Natural Resources said Generally, I found it educative and a good resource point for the nations environmental research.
Reverend Dr Phyllis Opare, Lecturer, Information Literacy and Introduction to Computer expressed satisfaction that Now Sunyani and Ghana are also contributing to the global Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data-base.
She said GEONETCast significantly Is a conveyor or deliverer of the information to the end users, from the farmer to the decision-maker.
Rev. Dr Opare said It is providential to be a participant. With a little background in GIS, I realized its software is not free but the GEONETCast comes with free open software.
She noted that Ghana would make in-roads in research concerning the nine societal benefit areas because, with the ground receiving station at UENR We are going to get real time data every 15 minutes.