Home Sci-TechEnvironment Uganda: Govt Launches Online Portal to Monitor Destruction of Environment

Uganda: Govt Launches Online Portal to Monitor Destruction of Environment

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The government has launched an online portal that will enable policymakers to access customised satellite data on the level of environmental degradation in the country.

The development comes at a time when the country has lost a lot of natural resources that support important sectors such as tourism and agriculture, a trend which is posing a big threat to economic development.

Mr Grace Kagoro, the commissioner for lands management at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, yesterday said at the launch in Kampala that the portal will cut costs and allow for evidence-based decision making.

“That satellite data was being purchased by the government from foreign vendors. The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), being an international organisation where Uganda is a member state, we shall be getting the data we need freely and also giving feedback on the quality of data,” the commissioner said.

“The environment and climate change are the game changers if we are to continue surviving on this planet. We should also address the issues of land degradation,” Mr Kagoro added.

Up to 42 per cent of Uganda’s wetlands have been degraded in the last 20 years and experts warn that by 2046, these will be no more if no serious action is taken. More than half of the forest cover was also lost between 1990 and 2017, according to government statistics.

Prof Anthony Gidudu from the Department of Geometrics and Land Management at Makerere University, who is also one of the experts implementing the RCMRD in the country, explained that the platform relies on satellite images.