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9 Jun 2024

South Sudan Grapples with Fresh Fire Incidents in the Upper Nile Region
South Sudan Grapples with Fresh Fire Incidents in the Upper Nile Region

Recent reports from South Sudan have indicated the emergence of new fire incidents in the Upper Nile region. These incidents, occurring on June 9, 2024, have added to the country's environmental challenges, which have been marked by significant tree cover loss over the past two decades.

An analysis of historical data reveals a trend of tree cover loss primarily driven by shifting agriculture. Since 2001, South Sudan has experienced a net loss of 801,955.64 hectares of tree cover, which is approximately 1.28% of the country's total tree cover extent. However, there has also been a gain of 1,082,861.40 hectares, resulting in a net positive change in tree cover of 280,905.76 hectares.

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The impact of these environmental disturbances is not limited to the loss of tree cover. The associated gross emissions of CO2e have been substantial, with shifting agriculture being the predominant driver. Over the years, this activity alone has been responsible for millions of metric tons of CO2e emissions, contributing to the country's carbon footprint.

The latest fire incidents underscore the ongoing environmental pressures faced by South Sudan. While the immediate cause of these fires has not been identified, the pattern of land use change and environmental degradation suggests a need for continued monitoring and intervention to mitigate further loss and emissions.

As South Sudan continues to navigate these environmental challenges, the focus remains on understanding the long-term implications of these incidents and the broader impact on the region's ecology and the livelihoods of its inhabitants.

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