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30 January 2020

Mott MacDonald to deliver smart map of natural capital in the UAE

Mott MacDonald is supporting the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to develop a smart map of natural capital.

The project aims to identify local biologically rich ecosystems and the services they provide to the indigenous environment, in addition to carrying out an economic valuation of these services. The project will be developed in two phases and data will be displayed on a smart map to inform better decision-making on land use, investment opportunities and business improvement.

Mott MacDonald is supporting MOCCAE with the second phase of the project, evaluating 15 ecological services of terrestrial, coastal and marine habitats. The data will be used to create models of future urban development that factor in the impacts of climate change.

Phase one featured an integrated mapping of habitats in the UAE, in partnership with the UAE Space Agency, the National Space Science and Technology Centre, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Khalifa University, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, Dubai Municipality, and Emirates Nature-WWF.

The outcome of the project will be interactive smart maps that provide spatial information on the natural capital and ecosystem services of the UAE. The tool will allow users to view, upload and download information, as well as evaluate the effects on ecosystem services of some pre-determined scenarios such as climate change projections.

Rouba Abou-Atieh, project manager, Mott MacDonald said: “We are proud to be delivering phase two of this important project, which is the first of its kind in the region. The project will inform the country's decision-making on policies which have impacts on the natural resources as well as land use, investment opportunities and business improvement.”

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