(WAM) — The Sustainable City, the first fully operational environment-friendly community in the Middle East by Diamond Developers, has launched a community-wide biodiversity assessment programme. It has deployed monitoring equipment to measure the impact of urban ecology on biodiversity and ecosystem health.
The Sustainable City is the region’s first community to monitor and measure the health of its ecosystem, in association with Emirates Nature-WWF, by installing advanced monitoring equipment, like ultrasound recorders for bats and audio recorders for birds; to monitor the diversity of local species.
Faris Saeed, CEO of Diamond Developers, the sustainable community developer in the UAE, said, “We endeavour to provide living spaces where we can coexist along with nature, while providing nature with a better chance to flourish and thrive. We have channelled our efforts to help reduce carbon emissions in our cities, and research has always been a key part of what we do, that is why we are constantly collecting and analysing data, and testing new technologies through SEE Institute, our knowledge and research arm.
“This initiative aims to provide deeper understanding of local species and the positive impact they have on the environment,” he noted.
To engage its residents, The Sustainable City is using two cloud-based platforms called iNaturalist and eBird where residents can upload images of different species like birds and plants sighted in their neighbourhood and other green spaces within the community. The sightings uploaded by residents are recorded, classified and verified by Emirates Nature-WWF staff as well as a global community of scientists and naturalists.
This opportunity will encourage residents to discover, learn, and document biodiversity in the spaces they live in, while helping the developer and community managers understand the impact communities have on the environment, and set plans to promote biodiversity and support a healthy ecosystem.
To support the mission of Diamond Developers, the company’s research and education hub, SEE Institute, will publish the biodiversity findings and develop guidelines to support the design of future cities and communities in the region. The surveys will provide an inventory of species present in The Sustainable City, and bio-indicators that can be monitored on the long term, to establish a sound baseline that will guide similar initiatives in the urban environment.
From the onset, The Sustainable City embraced an urban design which promotes biodiversity and encourages outdoor activities. The city has integrated local species in its landscapes and created a suitable natural environment for bees, bats, butterflies, and birds, while the urban farm and green spine provide ample natural spaces for outdoor fun and educational activities.