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Snow leopard walking Local community meeting Water well.

Natural resource management

We work in some of the most complex environmental systems on the planet. Natural resources are a source of benefit for communities and economies, but we know they must be developed, conserved, and managed sustainably to allow future generations to benefit. Our experience covers water resource management, biodiversity surveys, wildlife conservation, soil erosion, and rural development.

We have worked on natural resource development projects since the construction of the Aswan Dam in the early 20th century, which unlocked Egypt’s agricultural potential.

Today, our wide-ranging work – from undertaking catchment management in China, biodiversity surveys and planning in post-war Iraq, and strategic environmental assessment of fisheries in the UK – means that Mott MacDonald is a key partner for government, development, and conservation organizations globally.

Conservation

Growing populations, expanding urban areas, and infrastructure networks put pressure on pristine habitats. We have helped government and multinational agencies survey and develop conservation plans for threatened species, such as the Snow Leopard in Mongolia, and habitats such as the Eurasian Steppes in Ukraine, Russia, and Moldova.

We also help our customers with solutions where habitats have been affected by overdevelopment or severely damaged by uncontrolled resource exploitation. We prepared, for example, a strategic environmental assessment of nearshore shell fishing in the UK North Sea that the North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority uses to steer sustainable development. In Indonesia, we developed novel strategies for the restoration of mangrove forests devastated by deforestation, allowing for sustainable economic development by indigenous peoples.

Sustainable resource development

Natural resources provide valuable economic and social benefits when sustainably developed with respect for the environment. We carried out a ground-breaking strategic biodiversity survey of the main oil-producing areas of Iraq for an oil developer client, with a particular focus on wetlands and the aquatic environment. We helped our UK client Anglian Water to design and build a new bird reserve at Rutland Water, complementing its strategic Wing Water Supply Project.

Aquatic environmental management

The aquatic environment is particularly sensitive to harm caused by the growth of urban and agricultural development. Through our work in the UK, we are leaders in relating changes in water abstraction and wastewater discharges to actual impacts on wetlands and surface water ecology. This has helped our water company clients to meet their obligations under European legislation in an evidence-based and cost-effective manner.

Climate change adaptation

Our changing climate adds impacts on natural resources to those of economic development. In the UK, our specialists have advised water companies on long-term reductions in water resources, and helped local authorities and environmental regulators plan for increased flooding risks, including from coastal inundation. In Bangladesh, we have increased the resilience of coastal communities to greater flood risks and saline water encroachment into freshwater fisheries. In India, we have advised farmers on adapting agricultural practices to the changing climate.

Services

  • Agricultural and rural development
  • Catchment management and river basin planning
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Coastal and marine environments
  • Conservation planning
  • Biodiversity assessment and surveys
  • Ecological assessment and surveys
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Fish and fisheries
  • Flood risk management
  • Mining and mineral extraction
  • Oil and gas development
  • Water resources management
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