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GIS presentation by Robert Ddamulira, Energy & Environmental Policy, University of Delaware
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- UD GIS Day 2020 (post-event report)
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- Roundtable discussion
The spatial-temporal dynamics of forest cover loss amidst oil development in Hoima district of Uganda, East Africa
The oil and gas sector has been recognized globally as one of the leading causes of environmental degradation including deforestation (forest cover loss), climate change and the associated loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, limited empirical research has been done on understanding the relationship between deforestation and the implementation of oil development policy in tropical countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. We used web-mapping analytical tools including Global Forest Watch database and LandTrendr in Google Earth Engine (LTGEE) to assess the spatial-temporal dynamics of deforestation in Hoima district between 1995 and 2019. This enabled us to understand how the implementation of Uganda’s 2006 commercial oil development policy may have contributed to forest cover loss. We also examined secondary data from population and agricultural censuses as well as oil sector environmental impact assessments to assess the role of direct (agricultural expansion) and indirect (population growth) deforestation drivers. Our results showed that prior to implementing the commercial oil development policy in Hoima district (1995-2006), annual deforestation was declining at a rate of -1.9% annually and agriculture was largely of a short-term nature. However, since the implementation of Uganda’s commercial oil development policy (2007- 2019), annual deforestation rates now stand at +34% per annum. Using a Species Area Relationship
model, we estimate that approximately 18 species of trees have been lost in the region since the start of implementing the commercial oil development policy in Hoima district.
Adjunct Instructor in Energy & Environmental Policy at University of Delaware