Climate Change Mapping

October 27, 2021 Robert Siegmund

Type of project: mapping + training

Status: ongoing / active

Training and Support by: Laura Bentz and Hans Geisslhofer

Results of Space2Live Climate Change Mapping in Uganda – a contribution to the COP 26 Conference in Glasgow UK

Wetland Management

Kyongyera Wetlands

The Kyongera wetland in southwest Uganda was protected and regenerated by the local environmental organization SIDCO ((Sheema Integrated Community Development Organization), member of the Caritas Uganda mapping team trained by Space2Live, supported by ILD-Bad Honnef.

The on-site GPS mapping shows an area of ​​15.4 hectares. This was partly permeated with potato and tomato gardens. The owner had emigrated to South Africa. SIDCO informed him and the authorities and was then commissioned to clean up this area, which is an important carbon store. It was agreed with the neighbors that the gardens are to be closed. By building a small dam, however, made it possible for them to be used as a fish breeding area, where the water comes to the surface. This means there is an alternative source of income and more motivation to protect and maintain the wetland. Trees have been planted around them, which are a clearly visible demarcation and can also store carbon gas.

Since July 2018, Space 2Live has been in charge of the ILD’s project to train employees in Uganda in terms of mobile phone GPS mapping with free satellite images and the creation of village development plans. The maps are accurate to within a few meters and serve as a monitoring and planning basis for participatory project development (forest protection, reforestation, agroforestry, energy-saving concepts and wetland management).

The satellite images of the villages are made available by Google Earth Pro under the “Fair use” license. This free software is not a professional GIS, but it is easy to use and you can get accurate images almost from everywhere.

Monitoring for forest protection and reforestation in Katebo on Lake Victoria

The small tourist village was surrounded by a dense tropical forest of 9 hectares. In the satellite image from January 2020 this was still intact. A GPS survey by Richard Bugembe from CARITAS Kampala, a member of the Space2Live Mapping Team, showed that the local population had been deforesting for the procurement of firewood by September 2021. Now this forest is to be reforested and better protected. The tree trunks were probably felled not only for local needs, but also for sale in the nearby capital, Kampala. With an average of 200 trees / ha, each weighing 1 ton, this is 1200 trees, i.e., together with the undergrowth an estimated 600 tons of CO2. If the pricing of greenhouse gases now prevails, you can estimate that monetary loss. In addition, there is also the loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and the lack of wind protection. As a result, some huts were badly damaged by a storm. The participatory mapping by committed local partners can clearly illustrate the problem and plan reforestation projects for local and global climate protection.

Deforestation at Katebo
Mapping Team members recording GPS coordinates on a mobile device

Mapping of the use of biogas plants as a substitute for firewood at village level

Biogas plant construction

For years, ILD (Bad Honnef) and Climatikos (Berlin) have been developing small biogas plants for large families in rural areas that are operated with local waste (manure, harvest and kitchen waste, etc.).

This reduces wood consumption on the outskirts of the villages and stimulates biodiversity. The map shows the spatial distribution of the plants and how this can protect the natural vegetation and prevent deforestation. Such mappings also promote a sense of community and environmental awareness. The trees to be planted are then registered and also enable an assessment of the greenhouse gases savings. It is true that this is only a question of small areas, but in total they extend over many other villages supported by churches or civil society, and thus also make a not insignificant contribution to local decarbonization.

Biogas cooking stove saves fuelwood in villages