Environmental Services

Introduction

Tilad and its international partners address complex local and global environmental issues through comprehensive problem assessments, research, planning and management. We have the knowledge and credibility to address these challenges on multiple scales. Our integrative and collaborative approach is customized for each project, incorporates global research and best practices, and is carried out ethically and sustainably.

list of environmental services

1-RESEARCH

Comprehensive species status assessments include an understanding of the current condition of the species habitat and demographics, and explanations of ongoing changes in abundance and distribution. These assessment provide for forecasting their response to probable future scenarios of environmental conditions and conservation efforts.

We offer academic-based and peer-reviewed investigations into pressing species status issues. We can design field projects and undertake quantitative actions to assess individual species and their populations. Our team members are experienced in working with aquatic, marine and terrestrial species and can guarantee credible assessments as well as recovery and mitigation strategies.

Sustainable harvesting is harvesting that allows population numbers to be maintained or to increase over time. With many wild species of animals and plants on the brink of regional or species-level extinction due to over-harvesting, sustainable approaches are necessary.

Our team of ecologists can provide estimates of species harvest limitations on multiple scales.  These specific quantitative approaches can provide sustainable population numbers to maintain a population or assist in its recovery.  Such programs can be beneficial for governmental monitoring agencies as well as for the commercial or private sector.

Ecosystem status assessments consists of monitoring the current and changing conditions of ecological resources, evaluating the abiotic and biotic components and understanding the structure and function of ecosystems. The goal is to evaluate the ecosystems condition, develop improved management options and design models to predict the response of ecosystems to changes, so that decision makers can best understand the outcomes of choosing a particular management strategy.

Our team uses this multi-scale, comprehensive approach, to develop reasonable ecosystem management strategies for private, government and industrial agencies. 

The heart of any species or ecosystem assessment lies in understanding and depicting key factors across various geographic scales. The ever-advancing field of Geographic Information System (GIS) analyses address these demands.

The vast array of environmental projects incorporate GIS methods to adequately understand and describe past, current and potential conditions, management results, projects, and incorporation of remote sensing data, which are particularly important for large-scale (temporally and geographically) projects. GIS science is incorporated into all of our ecological assessments.

We can collect and carry out analyses of GIS-related data for management, mitigation and development projects, including the following services:

  • Develop an efficient and easy-to-use tool for access to GIS-based environmental information via a web-based interface
  • Creation of pertinent GIS layers useful for additional analyses
  • Support efficient and effective GIS information dissemination through generally available media, such as mobile phone and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).
  • Migrate GIS data and analyses/layers collected to a server for future analyses.
  • Prepare GIS-derived maps for use in presentations, publications, etc.

Clean air, water and soil are key to continued life on Earth. Without careful, standardized assessments of each, it is impossible to determine the most appropriate recovery, mitigation and development plans. Tilad has lab facilities and field expertise to carry out these critical analyses in natural and artificial systems and will always consider the bigger picture with respect to changes in ecosystem function and service.

Water

Clean water is the most threatened natural element in Saudi Arabia and is key to the future of the Kingdom. Thus, accurate water quality assessments (WQA) are essential to evaluate all terrestrial, marine environments and wastewater.

In terrestrial areas, this includes evaluating the effect of current and future discharge or disposal of wastewater and solids.

Urban areas must evaluate the need to shift from cesspool collection and treatment to a piped collection network.

Coastal zones require similar analyses while marine areas include evaluation of bathymetric data, water quality, sediment, flora and fauna, and dredging/filling impacts.

Air Quality Assessments (AQA) are required and useful for every aspect of environmental assessment, mitigation and planning  as the health of flora and fauna are all impacted by these pollutants. There are six common air pollutants (www.epa.gov) which require regulation in order to insure public health. They are: particle pollution (often referred to as particulate matter), ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead. These pollutants can harm human health and the environment, and cause property damage. 

We provide:

  • Analysis of air contaminant concentrations in emissions as they relate to GAMEP standards and limits.
  • Air contaminant concentrations that may cause an adverse effect to humans, wildlife, and ecosystems.
  • Accurate air pollutant concentrations and meteorological data to determine the impacts of various pollutant sources on air quality or as a part of integrated strategic environmental plan
  • Data collection and analyses to assess local population and ecosystem exposure to air contaminants.
  • Modelling of future impacts with proposed development.

Noise pollution is often ignored or misunderstood, however it can cause long-term damage to humans and animals such as such as bats, marine mammals, and migratory birds. 

Our Noise Pollution Evaluations include:

-Assessing noise levels from stationary and mobile sources of potential significance to receptors.

-Assessing associated impacts in urban and rural settings. Receptors near major sources of noise including ( airport, industrial facilities and infrastructure, and construction sites, Receptors near traffic sources (highways / main roads, intersections, roundabouts, sport watercrafts (Jet Ski), etc.) Sensitive receptors (e.g. health institutions, hospitals) Residential neighbourhoods, Parks, Protected areas and sensitive habitats adjacent to noise sources.

-Noise survey information are presented as layers in a GIS map for clarity.

-Modelling of future impacts with proposed development.

KSA is primarily a desert ecosystem with increasing climate change eroding the other ecosystems present in the Kingdom.  A primary response to changing temperatures and precipitation is increased desert habitat with decreased biodiversity in the desert and the former ecosystem.  Biodiversity is the key to stable and thriving natural and urban areas, thus evaluating soil quality and changes to its composition are key. 

We perform a variety of services leading to a comprehensive evaluation of soil conditions.  These include the following:

  • Measure changes to soil quality and model as a result of various development activities.
  • Examine changes needed to soil composition to improve agricultural production.
  • Determine ways to prevent future desertification and soil erosion.
  • Evaluate the status of organic agriculture methods and provide suggestions for increased productivity.
  • Evaluate current efforts for preserving and enhancing tree cover.
  • Map vegetation and soil cover and future projections.

Environmental assessments require careful study design and remarkably sophisticated data collection and analyses to address complex questions.

Tilad uses the highest standards, including peer-review, for development of project datasets, metadata and statistical analyses, meta-analyses of large data sets related to the environment and potential impacts due to development and other forces, such as climate change. 

Our approach is key to parties interested in environmental analyses that demand the highest quality quantitative assessments needed for changes in environmental management.

Conducting such meta-analyses requires people with skills in managing and evaluating large data sets, including new statistical methods that have become available at Tilad.

2- ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING

  • Conservation planning needs to take an ecosystem perspective in order for all elements of the environment to be considered separately and together. This approach has proven highly successful in conservation efforts around the world.

    Adaptive ecosystem planning and management is at the heart of Tilad’s environmental services.  Our scientists and advisors consider the latest research results, internationally-proven management approaches and conservation ethics in our planning.

    As KSA considers new approaches to conservation areas, cutting edge and peer-reviewed environmental planning will be essential for moving towards international standards for sustainability. These new conservation efforts will achieve success quickly, more efficiently and most completely when an ecosystem approach is taken in planning.

  • Mitigation measures can provide some aspects of environmental recovery and restoration for large and smaller scale disturbances due to human activates. Careful planning is required to insure the most effective and appropriate strategies that suits your need. Therefore, Collaboration with the highly trained ecologists at Tilad will result in the most efficient and cost-effective mitigation measures for ecosystem recovery such as, carbon offsets, creation of habitats (such as new wetlands), establishing new populations or recovering impacted populations, creating new protected areas, etc.

Eco-tourism is a young industry in KSA and, if carefully planned, will result in significant ecosystem and species recovery as well as many new revenue lines for all aspects of Saudi business. The KSA government as well as Saudi and international entrepreneurs will benefit by judicious investment in the emerging eco-tourism industry in the Kingdom, if not the Middle East.

Tilad is strategically positioned to design and implement new eco-tourism areas, including parks, wildlife reserves, and more.

Tilad can provide help in designing ecotourism management plans, planning ecotourism resorts, mitigating impacts for tourism development, modelling economic and social impacts, etc.

Endangered species recovery planning involves actions such as habitat protection, removal of invasive species, harvest control, captive breeding and reintroduction. From Oryx to falcons to corals, there is a great need to design these recovery measures for the many endangered species in KSA.

Tilad scientists have lead international recovery efforts for many species across the world and are ready to use these experiences to aid in recovery of Saudi species at risk.

Examples include, reintroduction planning, population monitoring and modelling, Habitat Suitability Index Modelling (HSIM), genetic and demographic management of populations, maximum sustainable yield (MSY) modelling, etc.

 

 

Natural hazards threaten the health and safety of people, property, ecosystems and species. Tilad can develop management plans and projections, as well as identify areas most prone to facing such problems.

Other areas we are involved with evaluating: changing water tables that have the potential to adversely impact foundations, flash floods and flood-prone terrain, slope stability in terms of landslides and rockfalls; 2) earthquakes and/or geologic weaknesses that can threaten overlying constructions, wildlife diseases, locusts, wild animals, dogs, cats, rats, and monkeys; and 3) fires.

3- ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS

In Saudi Arabian law, proposing sensitive areas for development requires documentation to describe how an area’s natural and physical resources could be changed, as well as plans to mitigate the potential impacts.

    • In accordance with regulations, we prepare a thorough analysis of the environment, offer alternative management strategies, and determine ways to avoid potentially damaging ecosystems. We can provide viable alternatives to proposed development to mitigate negative impacts on the environment.
    • We can facilitate prioritizing issues and their impacts by potential risks and general level of economic or societal effect in any environmentally, socially, historically or culturally sensitive areas.

Public investment in Saudi Arabian environmental projects requires a common understanding of the positive and negative consequences for development of local, regional and global ecosystems.

We work with ministries to develop evaluations that address environmental concerns and help decision-makers move forward with projects such as economic valuation of the costs of environmental degradation.

We can provide comprehensive, interdisciplinary environmental impact assessments or contribute specific components to larger EIA efforts.

As Saudi Arabia expands development into sensitive environmental areas, understanding the social, cultural, economic and political conditions in the region will help planners predict the impact the development will have on people and communities.

Tilad works with experts to determine historical and current patterns of use in the area by conducting interviews and monitoring human activity. We then develop reports that offer ways for people and the environment to co-exist.

We can develop environmental and social management and monitoring plans, archaeological and cultural resources, anthropogenic and general societal factors and effects including public health. We also provide assessments of the impacts, including how environmental degradation negatively impacts people in a variety of ways (e.g., quality of life, negative health impacts, etc.)

One important key to understanding the past, present and potential biodiversity of an area is to investigate archaeology and other forms of cultural heritage. Identifying how our past generations survived in the environment will give a clearer understanding of the potential for the future.

Tilad’s team can document the key aspects of cultural heritage and assess the impacts of legislation, regulations and development.  We can further describe the documented or generally known archaeological, cultural and heritage sites of significance, identify whether protection is currently provided for those sites, research and assess the significance of less documented sites and determine the need for more advanced studies and protection.  We will provide  recommendations for protection and management of all types of sites, and assess tourism potential.

Saudi Arabian law is emphatic in its requirements to preserve, protect and improve the environment. It also complies with teachings from the Koran.

  • We help developers understand and interpret the law and its implication on projects. Through clear communication, we assist in documentation, filing reports and mitigating issues that arise.
  • We can help ensure that environmental assessments and other documents are or are not in compliance with relative laws and regulations; make recommendations for changes to ensure compliance; etc.

4- Environmental lab & surveys

The Tilad Environment Laboratory is equipped with top quality analytical instrumentation for testing water, soil, air, sludge, petroleum, chemicals, and other samples in a timely and efficient manner.

We provide a comprehensive range of services such as: field sampling, sample processing, analytical analysis and data processing. Our customer service staff will work with you to choose the appropriate tests, methods and frequencies best suited to your specific needs.  Moreover, our analysts operate state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation, testing to government and regulatory standards. The environment laboratory is divided into multiple divisions to best serve the interest of our customers

Microbiology Lab: The microbiology lab preforms a wide range of tests on different samples matrixes. These test include: aerobic and anaerobic plate count, cultures, total coliforms count, 16S rDNA sequencing and qPCR. A variety of microbes including, Salmonella, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, MycobacteriumClostridium, and biofilms are all in our scope of interest.

Water quality Lab: Our water quality lab tests drinking water, wastewater, seawater for the following parameters; Turbidity, Temperature, Salinity and Conductivity, pH, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Dissolved oxygen, Total Organic Carbons (TOC), Chemical Oxygen Demands (COD), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), Ammonium, Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphate, Chlorophyll a, Silicate and a range of organic and Inorganic contaminants.

Chemistry Lab: Our chemistry laboratory is designed to test air, water and sediment for a variety of chemicals including the following;

Organic compounds: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) (the 16 PAHs identified as priority pollutants by USEPA), Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPHs) (C6-C9, CIO-C14, C15-C28, C29-C36), Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), Dioxins, pesticides and herbicides.

Metals: Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Boron, Cadmium, Calcium, Cobalt, Copper, Chromium, Gold, Iron, Lead, Lithium, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Molybdenum, Nickel, Palladium, Potassium, Platinum, Selenium, Silicon, Silver, Sodium, Tin, Titanium, Thallium, Vanadium and Zinc

Stable isotopic testing: We analyze C13 and N15 in bulk and specific amino acids to study animal age, diet, trophic level and migratory patterns. 

  •  
  • Biota surveys: species identification and enumeration, species diversity, density, diversity and abundance, spatial distribution), radio-active substance, Tributyltin (TBT).

-Vegetation survey; vegetation biomass, diversity, and health assessment: linear transects, modified whittaker plots, key informant interviews.

-Bird Surveys: variable circular plots, population & diversity scan sampling, key informant interviews, linear distance sampling with population modelling and more detailed studies using satellite/GPS telemetry and data loggers.

-Parasite (Insects) surveys: determine diversity, and relative abundance using a wide variety of methods, including sweep netting, aerial netting, pitfall and pan trapping, soil sifting, nocturnal light trapping, and hoop surveys.

-Large and small mammals surveys: Occupancy modelling, aerial and ground distance sampling with population modelling, remote camera sampling, and spoor surveys, in addition to more in-depth studies using satellite and radio telemetry methods.

-Herpetology surveys: surveys for presence, abundance and diversity using herptological arrays with pitfalls, boards, and funnel traps; linear Distance sampling with population modelling.

-Fish surveys: aquatic and marine surveys of density, abundance, potential diseases, etc.

-Assess coral reef health: Scuba diving, key informant interviews, infectious diseases & chemistry testing

-Disease sampling; using blood and feces to diagnose zootic diseases, and disease causes of mortality and morbidity to entire populations and species..

  •  

5- MANAGEMENT

Wildlife and ecosystem management are key but complex aspects of successful environmental recovery and sustainability. Development of management plans require an integrated and adaptive approach, considering the many changing aspects of an ecosystem.

We design management plans using an adaptive management approach that utilizes rational science to rigorously assess the success of different approaches and provides alternatives to continually improve efficiency and ecosystem function.

We provide adaptive management models with evaluation methods and criteria; conduct ecosystem-wide research and/or assessments to assess ecological integrity and resilience; etc.

Species management includes those at risk as well as invasive species, migratory species and species commonly harvested.  These species need individual attention and planning. Addressing specific management, include keystone species (species that impact many other species) and indicator species (species sensitive to environmental changes), needs for invasive or harvested species can quickly result in appropriate species status recovery (or eradication, as appropriate) and will contribute to overall ecosystem recovery and success.

Tilad can provide species population modelling, including population viability analyses (PVAs); maximum sustained yield (MSY) estimates; habitat suitability index modeling (HSIM); monitoring programs for target species; species management plans for target species, including control plans for invasive species; etc.

Species do not recognize international borders in their distributions and annual movements. Thus, their migratory connectivity (i.e., needs across their entire range and annual cycle) must be understood and managed if their recovery and sustainability is to be expected.

Around the world, national and international conservation efforts are focusing on conservation of migratory corridors throughout species ranges.

KSA has established some habitat islands but more strategic planning and implementation of corridors will benefit Saudi, Middle Eastern and Palearctic migratory species such as, palearctic to species that migrate to southern Africa!

Identification of key migratory corridors, primarily for mammals and birds; corridor management planning; identification and protection plans for key stop-over points and habitat (e.g., water sources)  for migrating species; and, if necessary, provide artificial migration for less vagile species.

  • Assist with protected areas management and creation
  • Protected areas boundaries

6- ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION

7- Education and outreach

The education and outreach components of our work includes

1) evaluating attitudes, perspectives, knowledge, and values to wildlife and nature

2) evaluating current environmental education and training programs and exposure

3) providing livelihood enhancement opportunities for local people

4) developing opportunities for positive personal experiences associated with nature, wildlife, and conservation

5) building capacity for Saudis to conduct environmental, ecological, and conservation work

6) building support for conservation initiatives

7) developing education programs at all levels (preschool, elementary, high school, university, post-graduate, adult education, and more that not only impart information (i.e., provide knowledge), but build support and empower people to engage in changes that will benefit the environment and associated wildlife.

  • Training and lecturing: we provide creative ways to transmit knowledge and techniques to all branches of societies from children, students, employees, local people in all type of environmental subjects.
  • Love of knowledge provides license to our outreach department to design programs that address: research, environmental planning, environmental assessments, management, environmental lab, environmental social assessment and lab testing.

8- Reserve Registration and Certification

We can help protected areas apply for and achieve these various certificates and designations