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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the proposed resort development Kandinma Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Sandcays
Keywords: Legislative and regulatory consideration
Project description
Project alternatives
Existing environment
Stakeholder consultations
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Issue Date: Jul-2014
Citation: Sandcays. (2014). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed resort development Kandinma Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This report addresses the environmental concerns of the proposed development of a resort on Kandinma, Dhaal Atoll. The island is about 36.9hectares in its size. The Proponent of the proposed development is Reollo Investments Pvt. Ltd. The Proponent proposes to develop a modern resort on Kandinma with 220 Beach Villas and 70 Water Villas. With restaurants, bars, spa, reception, guest shop, pool, gym, staff accommodation, staff facilities and different utilities including desalination plant, sewage treatment plant, waste management center and powerhouse, the resort is an independent economic unit. It has one jetty for guest arrival and a small harbour for use by service vessels. The island lacks beach, which is an essential component of a beach resort, therefore, beaches on the west side would be nourished using sand dredged from the channel and harbour along with sand extracted from edges of the deep lagoon. The proposed development will conform to all current environmental legislation including the Regulation on the Protection and Conservation of the Environment in the Tourism Industry. The main negative impact of the proposed development will be the impact of sedimentation on the areas of the housereef on the west where the proposed harbour and access channel will be developed and the impact of deforestation due to land clearance for proposed buildings. These impacts are inevitable. Yet, every effort is to be made to minimize the impact and footprint of the impact. As such mature trees will be further taken into consideration during the construction phase by adjusting buildings during stakeout. If a mature tree were to be removed, they will be carefully uprooted and transplanted elsewhere. The impact of sedimentation on the reef will be minimized by taking into consideration appropriate hydrodynamic and tidal conditions as the dredging activity proceeds. To minimize the impact on longshore sediment transport, the walkways of water villas and jetties will stand on piles with their footings buried in the seabed. Precast footings and columns will be used and excavator movements shall be minimized. Excavator is preferably moved on barge to minimize sedimentation and if high bed excavators were to be used, they will not be driven on areas with coral since no structures have been placed in areas with live coral or significant coral cover. Furthermore, sedimentation will be short-lived given that tidal and wind-driven currents would normally carry the sediments away from the reef at all tides and monsoons. The other environmental impacts of the proposed development include solid waste management, water supply, sewage disposal and energy generation. Solid waste will be generated both during the constructional and operational phase of the resort. Constructional waste will be disposed of by the Contractor to Thilafushi if a regional landfill or waste management site does not exist. During the operational phase, a waste management center established on the island will segregate waste and dispose of them in a manner prescribed in Tourism Regulations as well as the Solid Waste Management Regulations. It is during the construction stage that the waste is often not managed properly and waste ends up in the environment. Therefore, it is vital that waste management procedures are in place during construction phase to ensure waste is appropriately dealt with. Supervision and awareness of construction workforce is highly recommended. Desalination, sewage treatment and power generation are fuel-dependent processes and fuel efficient desalination technology, STPs and, especially, generator sets will be installed in the island. Gravity sewers will deliver the sewage and only a single pumping station will be used. Treated effluent with acceptable levels of BOD will be disposed to the sea at not less than 10m below MSL and 5m away from the reef edge. Therefore, the impact from sewage disposal will be almost negligible. In fact, the daily peak flows is quite small that the proposed sea outfall would provide over 500-fold dilution to the sewage effluent even if it were raw sewage, which would occur only in the unlikely event that the sewage treatment plant fails. Hence, no further mitigation measures have been considered for sewage disposal and treatment. Furthermore, the sewage treatment plant, being an energy-intense process, may be avoided given that the outfall can be located in a location where there is good mixing and a great degree of dilution and not used by tourists or locals. However, sewage treatment in tourist resorts is a legal requirement without any provisions in the Tourism Regulations. Environmental monitoring has also been incorporated into the project. Arrangements for monitoring during constructional and operational phase will be considered. Monitoring will be undertaken according to the monitoring programme recommended in this report. Recommended monitoring for the project includes the monitoring of shoreline at predetermined and bench-marked tide level, beach profiles and drogues at locations given in the EIA report, marine water quality at the location of the intake, brine discharge, sea outfall and a control location, groundwater at a location close to the powerhouse and desalination plant and a control location and quality of product water at 3 specified locations including product water tank. Annual monitoring reports have to be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency over the monitoring period and shall include fuel and water consumption data and greenhouse gas emission calculations. The overall environmental impacts of the project have been assessed using appropriate matrices and the results indicated that the proposed project has net positive impact. Given that the project has major socio-economic benefits although there would be some negative environmental impacts, it is recommended to allow the project to proceed as proposed.
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