Abu Dhabi COASTAL ATLAS and Environmental Vulnerability Index

RPS has been working with the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) for the development of a Coastal Resources Atlas and Environmental Vulnerability Index to support coastal management and planning in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has identified the need to balance environmentally responsible management of coastal development projects with its exciting 2030 development activities. “Abu Dhabi 2030” is a long-term plan for the transformation of the Emirate’s economy, with a focus on significant infrastructure development and a growth in knowledge-based industries. Abu Dhabi 2030 is also complemented by other long term plans such as Economic 2030 and Environment 2030.

The Coastal Atlas project provides a web-based GIS system with data analysis tools for evaluating the current and future health of the coastal region. The project provides advanced habitat classification using a scheme developed by EAD that allows coastal managers to evaluate possible stresses on the environment caused by coastal developments, climate change, or incidents such as marine pollution.

The atlas includes habitat classifications, human and socio-economic resource classifications, and an environmental vulnerability index for all of Abu Dhabi’s coastal and marine environments. The system will provide access to these data for all levels of stakeholders, from GIS experts to resource managers and scientists, to the general public through desktop software applications and web browsers. The application was built with ESRI ArcGIS Server 9.3 and Adobe Flex, and includes a desktop application to allow scientists to enter their data into the system.

The Coastal Atlas received a Special Achievement Award for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Environmental Management for 2010 at the ESRI International User Conference.

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