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Gorilla Natural Habitat Monitoring Service

Development of user-oriented information products, based on EO technology, to support the implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC).

Project References
 Name BEGo
 Title Gorilla Natural Habitat Monitoring Service
 Programme DUP (Data User Programme)
 Theme International Conventions
 Cost €250k
 Type Service Demonstration
 Status Completed (2001-2003)
ERS-1/2 : SAR
Landsat 4/5 : TM
Landsat 7 : ETM
Project Description

The UNESCO General Conference adopted in November 1972, the World Heritage Convention. As per August 2002, 174 countries were Parties to the WHC Convention. These State Parties get together at least twice a year to approve new inscriptions of sites, to review the state of conservation of the inscribed sites and to agree upon on various other actions dedicated to the conservation of the 730 (as per August 2002) World Heritage sites that are inscribed today on the World Heritage list.

To foster this objective, UNESCO and the European Space Agency (ESA) have proposed to undertake a joint initiative demonstrating the application of Earth Observation and other Space Technologies (e.g. Navigation and Positioning, Communication) in support to State Parties signatories of the Convention. In the context of this initiative, ESA and UNESCO initiated a joint project, "Build Environment for Gorilla" (BEGo), aimed at developing EO-based products and services for covering the information needs of the different national and international organizations working in the conservation and preservation of the different World Heritage sites in danger. The project focused on the development of base maps, land cover/use maps, DEMs and change-detection maps to support the work of the different national and international organisations involved in the conservation and monitoring of gorillas.

The area of interest encompassed south-western Uganda, western Rwanda and parts of the Kivus situated in Easter DRC. Inside that area, the project focuses on three main World Heritage Sites: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda), Virunga National Park (DRC), and the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (DRC). In addition to these sites, in order to provide a more complete coverage of the area hosting gorillas, the project also includes two sites that are directly contiguous to the Virunga National Park and that harbour mountain gorillas: Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda).

 Results Protecting World Heritage from Space: The Activities of ESA, D. Fernandez-Prieto, M. Hernandez, F.M. Seifert, Proceedings of the 31st International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, 20-24 May 2005, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Final report
Project Consortium
 Prime contractor MICROSOFT Netherlands : MICROSOFT Netherlands
 Subcontractors KEYOBS : KEYOBS S.A.
RMCA : Royal Museum for Central Africa - Section of Cartography and Remote Sensing
User Partnership
 Users DFGF : The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
ICCN : Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature
IGCP : International Gorilla Conservation Programme
UNESCO-WHC : UNESCO-World Heritage Center
WCS : Wildlife Conservation Society
WWF - EARPO : WWF Eastern Africa Regional Programme Office
Contact Points
 Project Manager Jos Bakker
Costerweg 1k
6702 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 317 421221
Fax: +31 317 416146
 Technical Officer Diego Fernandez
European Space Agency - ESRIN D/EOP-SEP
Via Galileo Galilei C.P.94
I-00044 Frascati (RM)
Tel: +39 06-941.80564
Fax: +39 06-941.80552
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