The UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) announced on 2 November 2019 that it has commenced work on the Smart Map of Natural Capital of the UAE.
The two-phased initiative 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. Data will be displayed on a smart map to inform better decision-making on land use, investment opportunities, and business improvement.
Phase one, to be completed by December 2019, will feature an integrated mapping of habitats in the UAE, in partnership with the UAE Space Agency, the National Space Science and Technology Center, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Khalifa University, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Municipality, and Emirates Nature-WWF.
Phase two, scheduled for completion in Q3 2020, will evaluate 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. To optimize user experience, MOCCAE will organize stakeholder workshops to educate users on reading the map with ease.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The Smart Map of Natural Capital of the UAE falls within our priority to drive economic development while also preserving the local environment.
The extensive project will entail ecological and spatial surveys, coupled with economic service valuation of the UAE’s natural capital including marine, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems. We will follow best scientific practices and latest technologies in implementing this project.”
//WAM///Hassan Bashir//Hatem Mohamed//