Habitat Mapping to improve Biodiversity and Crisis Management

The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) has completed an ambitious project of habitat mapping (terrestrial and marine), landuse and landcover for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The mapping of habitats will help town planners and crisis manager to improve biodiversity, urban planning, crisis management and food security.

The data is free available and can be accessed on iPad and Android phones through the “Beatty” app be downloads from Apple’s app store and will be available on other platform shortly.

Habitat-Map-English of abu dhabi

Credit: Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi

Protected area delineation, environmental permitting, land-use and conservation planning, quantifying ecosystem services, estimating blue carbon, detecting land degradation and habitat loss, etc. are just some of the areas where the mapping is being utilized.

The data production has gone through detailed field validation, image processing and have resulted data accuracy exceeding 90% in the land and 75% in marine areas. Protected area delineation, environmental permitting, land use and conservation planning, quantifying ecosystem services, estimating blue carbon, detecting land degradation and habitat loss, etc, are some of the areas where the mapping is being used.

Speaking at the ceremony HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the Secretary General of EAD, said: “As Abu Dhabi Emirate continuous to follow sustainable development principles, the habitat database will enable better urban and conservation planning.  The habitat map will also serve as an invaluable tool while responding to emergencies, such as oil spills, and help responders identify environmentally sensitive areas that are in need of immediate protection. We really are turning data into knowledge and the power to make better and more informed decisions”.

This detailed mapping included habitat, landuse and landcover layers at 1:10,000 scale, an Abu Dhabi wide coverage of 50-centimetre resolution, Worldview 2 Satellite imagery, bathymetry (ocean depth) of Abu Dhabi coastal area up to 15-metre contour.

All data related to the project has been made available to all interested parties through EAD’s Environmental Data Geoportal (www.enviroportal.ead.ae).

Source: EAD

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