Other current projects

Digital citizen science for community-based resilient environmental management  (D-SIRE / 2018-2021 / VLIR-UOS)

Previous projects in Uganda (e.g. AfReSlide) highlighted the developmental challenges posed by rural population exposure to natural hazards associated to population pressure, fragile livelihoods and land scarcity. To document the evolution in time of these hazards, identify potential suitable strategies to reduce their impacts, and raise awareness among the affected communities several participatory tools have been developed, including a serious game and the concept of geo-observer network. This network is based on data collection and reporting by local farmers through a smartphone application. The concept has so far been tested and proved operational in the Rwenzori mountains though still limited in terms of equipment, skills and geographical scope. The D-SiRe project aims at going a step further by 1/ extending the geographical extent of the geo-observer network to several district across South West Uganda; 2/ enhance the skills and knowledge of these geo-observers as environmental facilitators able to serve as interface between the communities and the scientists; 3/ develop teaching and research capabilities for geo-database management and analysis in the partner universities; 4/ scientifically valorise the crowd-sourced database to improve spatio-temporal modelling of hazardous processes; 5/ develop and test new methods to initiate the implementation of resilient livelihood practices; 6/ favour multi-lateral interactions between rural communities, district authorities and scientists.

 

Making Migration Work for Adaptation to Environmental Changes. A Belgian Appraisal (MIGRADAPT / 2018-2021 / Belspo BRAIN)

In the dichotomy between migrants and refugees/asylum-seekers, the former are typically cast as economically motivated, and set apart from refugees, fleeing war and persecution. Yet environmental changes are increasingly part of migration journeys, and count amongst the factors that call into question the distinction made between migrants and refugees. At the same time, in the international negotiations on climate change, migration is increasingly mooted as a possible adaptation strategy to the impacts of climate change. MIGRADAPT looks at the role of the environment as a driver for recent migration to Belgium. While it is unlikely that one could single out environmental changes as a key driver of migration to Belgium, except in exceptional cases, the project will rather attempt to provide an assessment on how migrants perceive the environment to have influenced their migration journey as well as how they perceive current environmental disruption in their countries of origin. In addition, MIGRADAPT provides evidence on how and under which conditions migration to Belgium can support the adaptation and resilience of origin communities and also on how the perception that migrants have on environmental shocks in their origin communities can impact the amount, form, and use of the socio-economic remittances. Through its transnational and multi-sited methodology that captures both the drivers and impacts of migration, MIGRADAPT addresses the multifactor aspect of the dynamics of environmental migration and its implications for both migrants and those remaining in communities of origin. 

 

MUlti Zone phase Unwrapping using advanced split-Band Interferometry (MUZUBI / 2015-2020 / Belspo STEREO III)

The MUZUBI project aims at developing a novel methodology to improve the phase unwrapping in SAR interferometry (InSAR). Indeed, it targets to fill the gap toward a fully developed Split Band-assisted phase unwrapping processor for SAR interferometry using Multi-Chromatic Analysis. It is thus proposed to adapt existing processor to specific pursuit and spotlight TerraSAR-X (TDX) acquisition schemes and combine SBInSAR processor with classical phase unwrapping procedure in order to get absolute phase measurement on all coherent zones. The developed technique will be applied to the study and monitoring of two active volcanic zones: the Nyiragongo/Nyamulagira (RDC) and the Copahue (Argentina). In the first case, it should allow getting connected displacement measurements on separated areas around the highly vegetated volcanoes. In the second case, known to be more challenging in terms of topography, it should allow to resolve the required topographic component.
 

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