Satellite maps will ease plight of endangered mountain gorillas

ional boundaries. Five sites in Central Africa have been covered by BEGo activity: Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park World Heritage Site, the Kahuzi-Biega National Park World Heritage Site in DRC, Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and running contigious with it - the Virunga National Park World Heritage Site in DRC and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.

Satellite images have been used to produce detailed base maps across the five parks, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and maps of land-use and land-cover change from about 1990 onwards. Belgium's Royal Museum of Central Africa and the Catholic University of Louvain then validated the map prototypes, which were also evaluated on the ground during end-user fieldwork.

BEGo was a service demonstration project taking place as part of ESA's Data User Element, with Netherlands-based Synoptics as prime contractor with Belgium-based Keyobs collecting user requirements and responsible for mapping.

Mario Hernndez of UNESCO's World Heritage List said that BEGo methodology could be replicated for other World Heritage sites in future. The Belgian Federal Science Policy Office is already backing an effort to use space technologies to map all World Heritage Sites in DRC.


Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
European Space Agency

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