Speakers

Justine Namara

Justine Namara

Coordinator

EIA and Oil Monitoring, Uganda Wildlife Authority

Justine Namara is currently working as Coordinator, Environmental Impact Assessment and Oil Monitoring at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). She has been working with UWA for the last 10 years and has grown through ranks. She prepares protected area plans and monitors compliance to environmental conditions for projects being implemented in and around wildlife protected areas. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry and Masters Degree in Natural Resource management from Makerere University, Uganda. She has had various training in natural resource management and environmental management. In addition she has training in oil and gas related courses in the field of environmental management. She has travelled widely both internationally and nationally where she has presented papers in workshops and conference. Last year, 2014 she got an award as a woman in conservation by USAID. She is a member of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA).


 

ABSTRACT

SESSION 34:  Tools to Manage Impacts of Petroleum Developments in Sensitive Ecosystems –Sensitivity Atlas for Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
                        
Murchison Falls National Park is the biggest park in Uganda covering an area of 3,877 km2. It attracts over 70,000 visitors per year, is a home to numerous fauna and flora and boasts of the magnificent Murchison Falls which is one of the biggest tourism attraction in Uganda. Given its importance and a number of attributes, it is important that the integrity of the park is maintained amidst a number of developments so as to continue providing the benefits it was gazetted for.

The oil and gas activities in the park have been ongoing since 2007. Seismic survey was carried out, both 2D and 3D. A number of wells have been drilled totaling to 34 wells and out of these oil has been discovered in 27 wells. The government has already issued a production license to TOTAL and partner companies to develop the Jobi Rii field inside the park.

The development phase will involve drilling more wells and laying pipelines which will transport crude across River Nile. The areas where oil has been discovered overlap with tourism potential areas. The overlap between oil and tourism presents a big challenge to the protected area managers in ensuring that the integrity of the park is maintained and the park continues generating funds for sustainable biodiversity conservation. It is expected that this challenge will even become bigger given the level of activities associated with development phase.

Preparation of the Murchison Falls sensitivity atlas therefore has been necessitated by the petroleum developments in addition to other developments that have happened and are being proposed to be implemented within the park. These include oil and gas, hydropower, transmission lines, tourism facilities and a number of roads.

The atlas was developed by UWA in collaboration with technical officers from government agencies to identify the most sensitive areas in the park to be protected during developments, provide a scientific tool for monitoring impacts and provide a baseline for future monitoring. The sensitivity atlas also will help managers to advocate for biodiversity offsets in case developments have to be implemented in those areas that have been identified as sensitive. In addition the atlas will help the EIA practitioners as they carry out the Environmental Impact Assessment before projects are implemented in the park so that they can propose alternatives. This presentation seeks to share experiences in developing this atlas and how useful this tool has been and will be in the future developments in the park.