Kibale National Park, in western Uganda, hosts the world's largest primate biomass per area. The rainforests contains abundant resources (wood, game, water...) that are not accessible to human communities surrounding it due to its protected status.
My work as a researcher and lecturer brought me to Kibale National Park (Uganda) in two occasions. The rich biodiversity and large population sizes in this rainforest have awarded Kibale with the title of 'primate capital of the world'. But the rainforest is more than the home of tropical vegetation, butterflies, and wild mammals; settling around the boundaries of the park, human communities flourish relying on subsistence and commercial farming surrounded by large tea plantations owned and managed by international companies. From a human perspective, the park offers numerous ecosystem services (like climate regulation, water purification, extractable resources, or medicinal remedies), but also poses numerous risks (such as crop raiding by animals that enter villages, or disease ##).
nder the premise that the park provides both, benefits (climate regulation, water purification...) and challenges (crop raiding, infectious diseases...) to surrounding human communities, we asked local school children to represent in drawings what they thought was good (ebirungi) and bad (ebibi) about nature.
I used this drawings to build a timeline of the Kibale National Park and visualize how nature and human communities co-developed from the 1920s to present.
Just like tea leaves in hot water, products of the decomposition of tree leaves in forest soils that are transported to aquatic systems dye the water in a yellowish colour. This visual trait has given name to the process of
observed in increasing trends
in northern latitudes.
The consequences of browning in aquatic ecosystems and the services these provide to human communities are diverse in scale and magnitude. From changes in
assemblages, to changes in the production of omega-3 essential fatty acids, browning can put food and water security at risk, especially for those populations that rely on lakes as their main food and water sources.
Causes and consequences of soil carbon export and lake browning in northern forested landscapes
Browning is a regional consequence of global alterations in carbon cycling, and the focus of my ecological research in landscapes in central Ontario.
In a completely different level, ecology has allowed me to explore the combination of data analysis, cartography, and graphic design as a solid toolset to investigate and communicate complex narratives from a transdisciplinary and systems-thinking approach.
BROWN NEW WORLD is the origin of senaretal and my passion for visual storytelling.