Abdulkareem I. Ahmed
In the world over, about 1.2 Million km² of forest was lost between 1990 and 2015, with about 475,000km² of forestland lost in sub-Saharan Africa within 15 years. It was further projected that by the year 2030 within the African tropical region there would be a decline of about 15% in forest areas. The anticipated decline can be attributed to anthropogenic activities within the forest regions, such as logging, agriculture, construction and mining.
Mining is a major economic activity in Africa and about 30% of known mineral deposits of the world resides there. This has attracted huge investments in the sector recently, which is also a threat to biodiversity conservation in the tropical regions and a significant driver of extensive deforestation.
Mining and its associated activities are obvious causes of deforestation, they destroy landscapes and wildlife habitats and subsequently lead to soil erosion. Mineral exploration in the tropics, especially in Africa will attract expansion of settlements and infrastructure such as electricity, roads, airstrips, seaports, airports and railways and may subsequently lead to massive deforestation. These are known as secondary effects of mining, which are not often considered when discussing the negative impacts of mining in the forest.
My research focuses on the application of remote sensing and GIS to locate and quantify the areas where mining activities have caused deforestation and forest degradation, the alarming rate of deforestation within the tropics has made it imperative to adopt advance methods for assessment and monitoring of forest resources. The use of geospatial techniques represents a unique instrument for regular monitoring, reporting and verification of activities within the forest which may lead to deforestation and degradation.
In addition, I am interested in carrying out research on modalities for fast habitat/ forestry recovery for the reduction of global warming, which has adversely changed our climate. The trees in the forests sequester and stores over 45% of global carbon, therefore we must act now to protect our forests from further depletion and save our planet from extra warming.
I have been involved in studies on erosion and watershed mapping, flood vulnerability, drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. I have also worked on projects relating to water, health, educational, infrastructure and community mappings.
I enjoy travelling, meeting new people, walking, watching football especially the English Premier League.