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ROADMAP TO CLIMATE RESILIENCE

SUMMARY

The Greater Thames Estuary is a highly populated and busy part of the UK, and its coastline would benefit from better coordination across the land and sea interface. Management and resilience planning across the Thames Estuary tends to be landward facing, often not accounting for the Greater Thames Estuary complex as a whole system. Much is being done to take a proactive response to climate resilience planning and flood risk management, but these plans generally do not consider the estuarine and marine natural assets or the ecological connectivity between habitats that contribute to natural capital, nor the coastal community needs. As a result, Marine Natural Capital is not accounted for, and Nature Recovery Strategies and Biodiversity Net Gain options missing the opportunity to enhance the coastal/marine environment.

 

The Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP) has an established GIS platform currently dedicated to providing a strategic approach to improve river connectivity for migratory fish (Greater Thames Estuary Fish Migration Roadmap). Building on this GIS platform, we propose to evolve it to become a Roadmap to Climate Resilience (RTCR) by including data:

  • To identify habitat enhancement and creation opportunity areas:

    • Blue/Green infrastructure

    • Coastal/urban intertidal habitats

    • Biodiversity Net Gain

  • To identify opportunities for social benefits:

    • Training and skills

    • Job creation

    • Access improvements - Thames Path

  • To visualise climate resilience benefits derived from the river and estuary:

    • Cooling effects

    • Carbon sinking

    • Natural capital

 

 

 

 

 

Once developed, the GIS platform will include all enhancement needs, development opportunity areas and climate resilience data and will act as a one-stop shop for decision makers:

  • To enable a more integrated and targeted approach for riverside planning and development that also contributes to climate resilience;

  • To enable a strategic and whole system approach ensuring that habitat enhancement happens where it is needed with full stakeholder and public buy-in rather than opportunistically;

  • To enable opportunities for using the platform for public engagement which could lead to enhanced stewardship through climate and ocean literacy.

PROJECT FUNDED BY

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