81 research outputs found

    Estimating the Extent of Degradation in the Bounfum Forest Reserve, Ghana, Using Historical Remotely Sensed Data and Landscape Fragmentation Indices

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    Land use and land cover changes, especially deforestation and forest degradation and its driving factors, are key factors hindering sustainable forest management. Currently, there is limited knowledge concerning the detection of the extent and interpretation of the spatial and temporal pattern of forest cover dynamics in the Bounfum Forest Reserve, which when available will inform sustainable policies. Using the Landsat TM image of 1986, Landsat ETM+ image of 2002 and Landsat 8 OLI image of 2014, the study identified and quantified the forest cover dynamics in the Bounfum Forest Reserve from 1986 to 2014. The ERDAS maximum likelihood classification algorithm was used to classify the pixels into five major land cover classes namely, bare/built areas, farmlands, closed forest, open forest and shrub/grassland. The Kappa coefficients of 0.83 (1986), 0.72 (2002) and 0.75 (2014) respectively were obtained for the classified images. The findings showed that the closed forests decreased by 3.5% (563.90 ha) per annum whilst the open forests and farm lands increased by 19.5% (385.60 ha) and 2.9% (65.00 ha) per annum within the 28-year period. This implies that the Bounfum forest reserve has been highly degraded over the past 28 years, evident through the trends of its patch densities and the number of patches. Collaborative forest management is required in the management of the forest reserve to conserve the socio-ecological and economic benefits derived from the resource on sustainable basis. Keywords: Land use and land cover change, Bounfum forest reserve, deforestation, forest degradation, remote sensing, sustainable forest managemen

    The Hydraulic Conductivity of Soils under Continuous Maize (Zea May) Cultivation

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    The severity and scope of our modern day practices in the last few centuries on the hydraulic conductivity of soil has affected its ability to control water infiltration and surface runoff. Soils exposed to human impact are often stripped of the organic-rich upper horizons, thereby increasing bulk density and reducing soil porosity. The study saw to determine the effects of continuous cultivation on the hydraulic conductivity, bulk density and porosity of soil. The hydraulic conductivity was measured with ring infiltrometer. Hydraulic conductivity was observed to decrease with increasing years of soils cultivation indicating a high impact of land use on this soil property. Hydraulic conductivity (Ks) values of 0.189±0.020cmh-1, 0.162±0.023cmh-1, 0.097±0.011cmh-1, and 0.078±0.028cmh-1 were respectively recorded for undisturbed forest, one year cultivated soil, two years cultivated soil and three years cultivated soil. The dry bulk densities obtained in forested soils, one year cultivated soil, two years continuous cultivated soils and three years continuously cultivate soil were 0.991±0.047gcm-3, 1.025±0.031gcm-3, 1.215±0.102gcm-3, and 1.332±0.074gcm-3 respectively with the least occurring on forest soils owing to high organic matter content and abundant burrowing fauna. To conclude, the study revealed that soil hydraulic conductivity, bulk density and porosity are time-variant and this fact should not be neglected in soil water flow modeling. Keywords: Hydraulic conductivity, bulk density, porosity and continuous cultivation

    A review of micro‐practices in commodity value chains in the global south

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    Micro-practices in the commodity value chains (CVCs) have experienced dramatic evolution through digital technology (DT). This article reviews the literature to identify four critical periods in this evolutionary cycle, from 1980 to 2020, to explicate the dimensions through which DT has foregrounded the burgeoning patterns of change in practice. Focusing on three key levels of micro-practices: farm level, production level, and institutional level, a nuanced analysis of the role of relevant stakeholders in mobilizing resources and provides support to leverage DT. Our study shows how stakeholders' receptiveness has facilitated the radical (re)construction of micro-practices in CVC. Implications for theory and practice are outlined

    The Airbus bribery scandal: A collective myopia perspective

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    Drawing on collective myopia as a lens, we explore the infamous Airbus bribery scandal to show how the executives of the global aircraft manufacturer, through their actions and behaviours, institutionalised the payment of bribes to secure contracts. Data for the inquiry consist of publicly available court-approved documents, company website and internal emails, and newspaper articles on the scandal. Unpacking the bribery scheme operated by Airbus, we found that bribing of foreign government officials and airline executives to secure contracts was part and parcel of the firm's organising strategy. In this regard, the organising practices of Airbus actively encouraged employees to break its own bribery compliance policies which they employed as smokescreens to cover their illegal activities. Building on our findings, we developed a collective myopic-bribery framework outlining how the collective myopia in organising drove the bribery activities at Airbus. The implications of the findings for theory and practice are outlined

    Cocoa production, farmlands, and the galamsey: Examining current and emerging trends in the ASM-agriculture nexus

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    In this paper, we build on the diverse discussions on the nexus between artisanal and small-scale mining and agriculture to examine emerging relationships between mining operators, smallholder cocoa farmers, and landowners in rural cocoa-growing communities. Empirically, we draw on fresh insights from in-depth interviews with loosely coupled chain actors in Ghana's cocoa and mining sectors, we found what we call ‘coerced to sell’ strategies deployed by miners in the acquisition of farmlands for their operations. We go further to shed light on the employment trajectories of the new breed of landless farmers, and the emerging diversification strategies of landowners. Implications of our findings for the policy and practice of ASM and farmlands are outlined

    Analysis of Socio-Demographics of Necessity-driven Entrepreneurs in Selected Cities in Ghana

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    The study analysed the dynamics of necessity-driven entrepreneurs, using the sociological approach to start-ups. The paper explored the risk appetite and the entrepreneurial potential of those involved in the street hawking business. Utilising the sequential transformative design, structured interviews were used to collect data from 306 street hawkers in Accra, Kumasi, and Cape Coast. Subsequently, 25 follow-up interviews were conducted, using a structured interview guide. Data were collected over ten months due to the complex nature of the respondents of the study. Descriptive statistics and texts were used to analyse the data. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents had only basic education or no formal education. Furthermore, the respondents were mostly women and young people without formal jobs nor any means of livelihood. The study has implications for policy on education, especially basic and adult education, as several of the respondents barely have basic education. There needs to be a social intervention programme to equip the street hawkers with the right employable skills to help develop their skills and promote the growth of their businesses. The paper also makes a case for nurturing their skills as a means of poverty alleviation

    Ban mining, ban dining? Re(examining) the policy and practice of ‘militarised conservationism’ on ASM operations

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    The artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) frontier continues to advance in most mineral-endowed countries due to rising unemployment and general economic decline particularly in rural communities. The sector, however, is often viewed in a negative light because it is highly environmentally destructive. In seeking to address the environmental challenges, many governments have, on occasion, actioned military strategies aimed at presenting facets of ‘sanitisation’ to a highly informal industry that has historically been tagged as an enemy of the environment. This study examines such ‘mining vs. environment’ discourses that have resulted in military crackdowns on ASM operations in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, the findings bust the ‘myth’ of the appropriateness of military interventions regarding ASM operations. Offering insights into the livelihood dimensions of ASM operations, we submit that our understanding of mining-ban failures can be assisted by an understanding of the broader geographical, socio-economic, technological, and institutional antecedents that combine to allow illegal mining operations to proliferate

    An algorithm to improve diagnostic accuracy in diabetes in computerised problem orientated medical records (POMR) compared with an established algorithm developed in episode orientated records (EOMR)

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    An algorithm that detects errors in diagnosis, classification or coding of diabetes in primary care computerised medial record (CMR) systems is currently available.  However, this was developed on CMR systems that are “Episode orientated” medical records (EOMR); and don’t force the user to always code a problem or link data to an existing one.  More strictly problem orientated medical record (POMR) systems mandate recording a problem and linking consultation data to them.

    Primary Care Informatics Response to Covid-19 Pandemic: Adaptation, Progress, and Lessons from Four Countries with High ICT Development

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    OBJECTIVE: Internationally, primary care practice had to transform in response to the COVID pandemic. Informatics issues included access, privacy, and security, as well as patient concerns of equity, safety, quality, and trust. This paper describes progress and lessons learned. METHODS: IMIA Primary Care Informatics Working Group members from Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and United States developed a standardised template for collection of information. The template guided a rapid literature review. We also included experiential learning from primary care and public health perspectives. RESULTS: All countries responded rapidly. Common themes included rapid reductions then transformation to virtual visits, pausing of non-COVID related informatics projects, all against a background of non-standardized digital development and disparate territory or state regulations and guidance. Common barriers in these four and in less-resourced countries included disparities in internet access and availability including bandwidth limitations when internet access was available, initial lack of coding standards, and fears of primary care clinicians that patients were delaying care despite the availability of televisits. CONCLUSIONS: Primary care clinicians were able to respond to the COVID crisis through telehealth and electronic record enabled change. However, the lack of coordinated national strategies and regulation, assurance of financial viability, and working in silos remained limitations. The potential for primary care informatics to transform current practice was highlighted. More research is needed to confirm preliminary observations and trends noted