BAAM recently completed an upgrade of the Natural Environment Decision Support (NEDS) tool used by Redland City Council to inform planning decisions throughout the city. The NEDS environmental decision making tool is a spatial model developed to provide an analysis of conservation values within Redland City.
The NEDS environmental decision making tool was originally developed with assistance from BAAM in 2012 (Phase 1) as a model which would be easy to update and maintain. However, in spite of its innovative nature, the model relied on large scale (1: 25000) State environmental datasets including regional ecosystem mapping that made identifying conservation values at a property scale difficult.
In contrast, NEDS Phase 2 has produced more accurate and enhanced environmental mapping and models (1:5000 scale) to provide a detailed assessment of conservation values throughout Redland City. The updated model includes new layers depicting habitat values for 47 conservation significant flora and fauna species. In addition, the accuracy of data has been checked by ground truthing representative habitats. The use of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) remote sensing technology was fundamental to establishing accurate extents for native and exotic vegetation within Redland City. A key innovation was the mapping of habitat values outside of Regional Ecosystems e.g. mudflats and urban Koala trees. The updated NEDS system offers council a more robust and accurate model with which to make informed environmental decisions. The NEDS environmental decision making tool will in future be updated with results from studies, surveys and DAs with the updated model constantly available to developers and consultants as well as council.
NEDS Phase 2 is currently with Redland City Council and is due for release in the coming months.
For more information about the NEDS environmental decision making tool and the underlying technology contact BAAM at: www.baamecology.com