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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the proposed development of new superior rooms at Club Med Kanifinolhu
Authors: Sandcays
Keywords: Resort development projects
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Geology and geomorphology
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Jan-2013
Citation: Sandcays. (2013). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed development of new superior rooms at Club Med Kanifinolhu. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This report addresses the environmental concerns of the proposed 18 rooms on the northern end of Club Med Kanifinolhu, North Malé Atoll. The 18 rooms will be developed as 9 single units comprising each of 2 rooms. The northern end has a large expanse of land formed behind a seawall/revetment in the area. The rooms are to be built in this area, which has had a few coconut palms and an iron wood tree. This area is the only available land for development of rooms at Kanifinolhu resort. Therefore, to take advantage of the recently introduced 30% built-up area for resorts, Club Med Kanifinolhu is proposing to utilize this land to create rooms targeted for emerging middle markets. The area will be landscaped with the few mature coconut palms that have been removed from the site, additional young palms grown in the island’s nursery and transplanting about 16 more coconut palms from other potential development sites such as housing projects in local islands. In order to meet additional power requirements by the proposed rooms, 2 generator sets are currently being upgraded from 800kVA to 910kVA. For water supply, it has been estimated that about 15800litres will be required for the rooms and the existing RO plant would be able to handle this additional requirement. Sewage and wastewater will be connected to the existing sewerage network by gravity lines. Existing wastewater treatment plant is capable of handling these 18 rooms as well as potential future expansion. Project alternatives have been considered and as has been mentioned earlier, the best alternative is to construct the rooms as proposed. Water villas on the southeastern side may be a potential alternative with disadvantages over cost. Minimizing the number of villas is not an option and the most number of rooms possible is desirable to the Proponent. The main negative environmental impact from the proposed project considered by EPA as well as others (in the Scoping Meeting) is the potential risk of erosion and subsequent structural damage. However, it has been observed from a study of the historic satellite images provided by Google that the sand behind the revetment/seawall at the northern end is quite stable. Therefore, no risks are envisaged. There will be no significant negative impact during the proposed modification of the seawall or retaining wall on the northern end. Sedimentation will be very low and easily dispersed due to high currents in the area. In fact, the proposed modifications will further enhance the protection afforded by the structure and minimize erosion and would be more aesthetically appealing. The other negative impact will be the removal of coconut palms for clearing land for development, however, there are a few and they will be transplanted on the island, preferably at the same area with young coconut trees planted in Kanifinolhu nursery. Other impacts include possible noise disturbance to guests during the construction phase. They will be managed by the Management during the course of the project as usual. Additional rooms will add cumulatively to the emissions and effluents disposed to the environment including brine from desalination, treated wastewater from wastewater treatment and carbon emissions from power generation as well as solid waste. The cumulative impact from additional emissions is considered to be low. Increased awareness together with the use of energy and water efficient gadgets in the new rooms would help to minimize such impacts. Use of solar water heaters and other renewable energy options have already been considered within the scope of the project. The main socio-economic impact of the project is increasing bed capacity and subsequent public/government revenue. There will also be several employment opportunities and indirect economic ventures as a result of the project. In terms of their significance, all of the above impacts are considered to be minor to negligible. There are no direct or indirect impacts on the reef or other ecologically significant areas. Club Med Kanifinolhu has an ongoing environmental monitoring programme incorporating coastal hydrodynamics and marine water quality under the coastal modifications project undertaken in 2012. Therefore, additional monitoring requirements imposed by this project would cover air quality, RO Plant feed water and product water quality. These have been incorporated into this EIA and an overall monitoring programme for the island recommended. Given that the project has major socio-economic benefits and few minor negative environmental impacts, it is recommended to allow the project to proceed as proposed.
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