Working with internationally renowned climate change expert, Professor Sandy Harrison of Bristol University, the practice will manage the project in the Jordan Rift Valley on behalf of the Jordanian Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature.
Jordan is vulnerable to climate change, with anticipated temperature increases of 1–2 degrees Celsius, increased evaporation, reduced recharge of aquifers and shrinkage of grassland predicted to cause desertification of semi-arid habitats. The objective of the pilot study is to inform strategic planning for conservation and management so that strategies for adaptation and mitigation of biodiversity loss can be designed and implemented.
The project will use computer-based models to predict ecosystem change. Simulations will be used to identify changes in major vegetation types and ecosystem adaptations, including in the distribution of dominant and indicator species. The pilot project will help to identify priorities for training local agencies in strategic planning, and practical measures to monitor and implement methods to manage changes in vegetation, carbon and water cycling.
Project manager Chris McDermott commented: “We’re delighted to be involved in work that adds to Landmark’s skills in addressing climate change in a positive way. This builds upon our land use planning and green infrastructure work and our experience in bringing forward renewable energy developments. This project will give us practical experience of the tools needed to contribute to the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) to inform planning for climate change at a strategic and development management level.”