Monday, February 21, 2005

Satellites Map Volcanic Home Of Africa's Endangered Gorillas

Space Daily Jun 30, 2004 article:

Mountain gorillas are found in highland forests of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These regions make up a set of five national parks; three of these have been designated World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), while the remaining two have been nominated for the same status. An European Space Agency managed project called Build Environment for Gorilla (BeGO) has been using Earth Observation resources to chart the region in order to help conservation bodies working in and around the parks. (BEGo partners include UNESCO.) The first product of the effort, a 1:50000 scale base map, land cover map and digitial elevation model (DEM) of the area around Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, was produced last year. The project is going on to map the rest of the mountain gorilla habitat, and to produce land use change maps from 1990 onward. Last year ESA and UNESCO formally agreed an initiative for the use of space technologies to support the World Heritage Convention; NASA is joining this effort.

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