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Big Data and Systematic Conservation Planning. By Dr. Paula Hidalgo-Sanchis, Manager Pulse Lab Kampala

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Pulse Lab Kampala, United Nations Global Pulse network, in partnership with the NBSAP Forum and partners in the Government of Zimbabwe developed the Nyanga Zimbabwe tool to support the formulation of spatial decisions to inform NBSAP design. The web-based tool makes spatial data accessible in a user-friendly way. It provides the ability to compare a number of spatial data sources (such as the extent of protected areas, changes in the distribution of human settlements, and climatic changes), and helps extract statistical summaries of important factors of interest. The tool has been built using data science to present complex data in a simple way to allow decision-making processes.

In rural areas in Uganda with 90% of the country’s population, Radio serves as a vital platform for public discussion, information sharing and news. Pulse Lab Kampala, along with partners has developed a prototype that makes it possible to conduct analysis of public discussions on the radio. The application is unique and a worldwide innovation, involving the development of speech technology for African languages (Luganda and Acholi) and the way English is pronounced in Uganda. Public radio content is transformed with this application into a new big data source. This application provides evidence that for the first time people’s voices from public radio broadcasts are accessible to protect biodiversity. It highlights that public radio discussion includes reports of local incidents and first-hand experiences reported by citizens that are not gathered with other quantitative or qualitative assessment methodologies and are not formally recorded anywhere else.

This Article has been contributed by Dr. Paula Hidalgo-Sanchis, Manager Pulse Lab Kampala .

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