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A Methodology For Coding Wetlands for Identification In A GIS Based Wetlands Database

Moses Musinguzi
PhD Student (Mr.)
Uppsala University, Dept of Earth Sciences,
Sweden
Email: [email protected]

Gerhard Bax
Associate Professor
Uppsala University, Dept of Earth Sciences
Email: [email protected]

Sandy Tickodri-Togboa
Associate Professor
Makerere University
Email: [email protected]

Wetland assessment and management techniques utilizing Geographical Information System tools have been developed in the last decade. Wetland spatial databases from local to national scales are being maintained in many countries to serve the interests of multiple stakeholders in wetland management. For a wetland database to serve the interests of wetland planners, scientists, politicians, law enforcement agents and other users, there is need to develop a code for uniquely identifying an instance of a wetland entity from numerous wetland features in a database. The concept of a wetland code is analogous to a parcel identification Number that is used to identify parcels in a land information system, but differs from a wetland code assigned for classification of wetlands. In decentralized or federal governments where wetland management is a decentralized function, such a code should enable users to determine the hydrological linkages of wetland systems at a glance. Wetlands in many countries stretch beyond administrative boundaries and their management at a local level should take the wider system management options into perspective. This paper presents a methodology for developing a multipurpose unique identifier for a wetland in a national wetlands database. The wetland code was developed and tested in the Uganda National Wetlands Database and provides information about the positions of wetlands in the nine hydrological basins in the country.