The Virunga Mountains in east Africa are a chain of volcanoes that lie across Rwanda's northern border with Uganda, east into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Two of the volcanoes are active.

The area is one of Africa’s most biologically diverse regions, but high human population density, poverty and conflict pose a challenge to conservation. Across the mountain range, however, a series of national parks has been established to protect the fauna and flora.

In this image, we can easily identify the delineation between the protected and non-protected lands – the green, orange and yellow dots indicate changes in the surface of non-protected lands between the radar scans that make up this composite image. These changes are primarily in vegetation as the land surrounding the mountains is blanketed with agricultural plots.

In particular, we can see the grid-like pattern of agriculture is visible in the green and yellow square at the centre of the image.

Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA

Mona Evans
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