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GIS modeling of environmental parameters for identification of landscape for expansion of biodiversity conservation, and greenery projects (a case study for Neom region, Saudi Arabia)

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Trees play vital roles in urban space such as regulating temperature in a microclimatic environment, maintaining soil health, providing oxygen, and many direct and indirect human health benefits. The study evaluated the bioclimatic parameters of the proposed Neom geographical area for identifying the potential landscape for tree scaling linked to biodiversity conservation strategies. The potentially suitable ten spatial factors (slope; elevation: DEM, soil wetness; Normalized Difference Vegetation Index: Landsat data, aridity index, annual precipitation, annual temperature, potential evapotranspiration, the temperature of the coldest quarter, and temperature of the warmest quarter) were identified and brought into GIS modeling for integration based on AHP statistical methods. The hotspot analysis (Getis-Ord Gi* statistic) was carried out for better understanding. The analysis revealed that approximately 22% (4948 km2) of the landscape has greater than 50% of potentiality for restoration of nature conservation goals linked to biodiversity, afforestation, and ecosystem services. The hotspot analysis manifested that 2596 km2 (with a 99% of confidence level) has high suitability for biodiversity conservation goals if harnessed scientifically. Neom’s proposed area needs one billion additional trees as carbon neutrality to accommodate one million persons in the future. This research is important because this is the first preliminary evaluation modeled in the GIS environment based on standard statistical methods for making outstanding synergic future strategies for the expansion of biodiversity conservation, and greenery projects within the proposed land area of Neom.

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    Ahmad, F.; Rizvi, J.




    geographic information systems, remote sensing, mapping, ecological restoration, land rehabilitation, biodiversity conservation


    Saudi Arabia

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