P E C A R
Population, Environment, and Climate in the Albertine Rift
The juxtaposition of biodiversity preservation and land use intensification in protected area landscapes greatly challenges both the intentions of conservation infrastructure (parks, corridors, e.g.) and poverty management and alleviation. Quantifying where these areas – hotter hotspots – occur on the landscape, and analyzing how local people perceive and respond to impacts is fundamental to understanding and facing this dual challenge. This study examines ecological change and the impacts of population growth and climate change on 7 national parks in the Ugandan Albertine Rift – Murchison Falls, Semuliki, Rwenzori Mountains, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Mgahinga Gorilla, and Bwindi Impenetrable.
This project is funded by a variety of grants: NSF Coupled Natural Human Systems; NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability; NSF Archaeology grants; and a National Geographic Research & Exploration grant.
Key questions and objectives
How and where has land use intensified around national parks in the Albertine Rift over time?
• Characterize climate trajectory and variability for the Albertine Rift
• Forest conversion and ecological change and identify hotspots of change
• Quantify population change
• Identify risks and adaptation by local people to perceived climate change