|Abstract: ||The report constitutes the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study carried out for
Hummingboy Farms (HBF) Pvt.Ltd. for the proposed development of 10 hectares of commercial
scale agricultural farmland and the necessary infrastructure in Gdh, Hulhuvaarulaa, Menthandhoo,
Golhaalaa and Dhoonireha islands located, southeaster section of South Huvadhu Atoll. The EIA
was prepared as fulfilment of the requirement by the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (MoFA)
for granting permission for the project. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of development
projects is a requirement by the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (EPPA) (law 4/93) of
the Government of the Republic of Maldives.
2- Initial estimate of the project cost is USD 10.2 million and is expected to recoup within six years.
Major part of the investment will be on development of seawater cooling system, harbour and access
channel, retractable roof envelope, rainwater harvesting system and condensate water collection
system, electro chemical sewerage system, solar photo voltaic energy system, infrastructure for staff
and service areas, other main infrastructures and equipment. The project will be developed in two
main phases. Phase one includes development of an access channel 425x15m and a harbour 50x50m
and 3 hectares of advanced hydroponic greenhouses (Approximately 4 hectares of land clearance in
GDh. Hulhuvaarulaa), development of power grid, integrated rainwater harvesting system, electro
chemical waste water recycling units, installation and operation of deep sea cooling system,
Infrastructure construction including power house, oil storage tanks, waste management facility staff
accommodation etc.. All key systems will be contained within bunded enclosures, such as the backup
generators and fuel storage, and the Solar Power battery centre. In the growing operation best practice
in storage and use of all bulk nutrients will be employed. Most of these developments will take place
in Hulhuvaarulaa Island.
3- Phase two of the project includes clearance of 6 hectares of land for green house development (2
Hectares from Hulhuvaarulaa and 4 hectares from Menthanduaa and Golhaalaa); construction and
operation of accommodation, green houses and other facilities; operation and management of 10
hectares of farm land in four islands.
4- The main produce of the farm will be commercial scale production of tomatoes, strawberry, raspberry
and bell pepper.
5- This report has been prepared in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations
published by the Ministry of Environment and Energy 2012 and considers a wide range of negative
and positive environmental and socio-economic impact arising from the proposed project
(development and operations) in the four islands. Major findings of this study was based on
information gathered during the field inspection of both the existing environment and possible effects
of the project activities, and on-going agricultural projects through extensive literature review and
experiences gained from similar projects elsewhere in the Maldives.
6- The proposed project activity will take place on Gdh Hulhuvaarulaa, Menthandhoo, Golhaalaa and
Dhoonirehaa and the reef. The four islands are uninhabited islands and shares the same house reef
with 6 more islands, Maavaarulaa, Kondaanahutta, Farehulhedhoo, Kalhemamal, Maavadhuvaa and
the inhabited island of Gadhoo. Four island Hulhuvaarulaa, Menthandhoo, Golhaalaa and
Dhoonirehaa are vegetated islands (thee islands Hulhuvaarulaa, Menthandhoo, Golhaalaa are sand
cays and Dhoonirehaa is a rubble cay) situated on the south eastern rim of Gaafu Dhaalu (Gdh) Atoll.
The cluster of four islands are located northern half of Gadhdhoo reef which is a huge reef platform
EIA Report for Agriculture development in Gdh Atoll , Hummingboy Farms Pvt. Ltd
over 10km long with varying width ranging between 1-1.8km. The total area of the reef platform is
7- Vegetation on the four islands is different due to the nature of the soil content; mainly Menthandhoo,
Golhaalaa and Dhoonirehaa are different from Hulhuvaarulaa. Golhaalaa and Dhoonirehaa are
vegetated shingle cays (rubble cays) and the eastern part of Menthandhoo is also dominated by
rubble. Hulhuvaarulaa formation is completely different form the rest of the islands as the main soil
content of the island is calcareous coral sand hence the vegetation succession of the island is more or
less similar to the majority of islands in the Maldives. In the three islands that are facing the semi
enclosed water bodies, vegetation facing the water body (eastern side of Hulhuvaarulaa, western side
of Menthandhoo and Golhaala) have similar vegetation type, where the outer layer consists mainly of,
Pemphis acidula (kuredhi), Tournefortia argentea (boashi) Pandanus tectoris (Boakashikeyo)
Scaevola taccada (Magoo) with occasional Guettarda speciosa (Uni), Hibiscus tilaceus (Dhiggaa)
and Calophyllum inophyllum (Funa), Ochrosia Oppositfolia (Dhunburi), Cordia Subcordata (Kaani)
Thespesia Populnea (Hirundhu), Ficus Benghalensis (Nika). Coconut palm Cocos nucifera is
scattered in various parts of the three islands Hulhuvaarulaa Menthandhoo and Golhaalaa and
abundant mostly in the inner and central parts of the three islands. Few Barringtonia asiatica (Kinbi)
trees were encountered in Hulhuvaarulaa and two Mangrove trees were found on the western side
Menthandhoo. Only few coconut palms are observed in Dhoonirehaa.
8- The total vegetated area of Hulhuvaarulaa is 251,092m2, Golhaalaa 150,588m2, Menthandhoo
104,027 m2 and in Dhoonirehaa 52,336m2. Vegetation clearance required for land based construction,
including pathways etc., is approximately, 73,664m2 in Hulhuvaarulaa, 21,000m2 Menthandhoo,
21,000m2 Golhaalaa, and 13,88m2 in Dhoonirehaa. This represents approximately 29% of
Hulhuvaarulaa, 20% Mendhandhoo, 13% of Golhaalaa and 2% of Dhoonirehaa vegetation cover.
9- Parts of Gadhdhoo Reef encompassing the 4 islands of Hulhuvaarulaa, Golhaallaa, Menthandhoo and
Dhoonirehaa can be characterized by distinct bio geomorphic zones. Fore ref zone on the eastern side,
backreef rubble zone, backreef seagrass bed on the eastern side, shallow lagoon at the atoll lagoon
ward side and seagrass bed in between the islands in the central tidal flat semi enclosed bay area. The
reef system reef and lagoon is rich in fish diversity and abundance.
10- In the process of EIA study an impact matrix, which is a standard tool for identifying the possible
impacts of project activities, was assembled for the proposed development project in Gdh.
Hulhuvaarulaa, Menthandhoo, Golhaalaa and Dhoonirehaa. The activities carried out during the
construction and post-construction or operational phases are arrayed against a selection of
environmental factors that may be affected directly or indirectly as a consequence of project
11- The report has identified and described in detail possible change that would occur to the existing
condition of the environment caused during the construction phase and have suggested appropriate
mitigation measures for each and every impact identified in the report. The study has identified that
most severe negative environmental impact for the islands would be from clearance of 10 hectares of
vegetation reef-flat and lagoon excavation for access channel and harbour development and trenching
to lay the deepsea cold water intake and outfall pipeline. Liquid, solid and other forms of wastes and
particularly hazardous waste generated during the construction and operational phase has also been
identified as significant impact associated with the project and appropriate mitigation measures are
suggested for each and every waste related impact identified in the study.
12- The study has evaluated alternative options for some components of the project and has suggested
some alternative design for harbour recommended to locate harbour basin between the reef flat and
EIA Report for Agriculture development in Gdh Atoll , Hummingboy Farms Pvt. Ltd
the island approximately 100 off the shoreline and use a piled jetty to connect the harbour basin and
the shoreline. However, given the nature of the proposed development and the fact that fairly heavy
load will be transported frequently through the infrastructure, practicality of such a harbour needs to
be considered and evaluated as an alternative to the proposed harbour in Hulhuvaarulaa. Also the
study found, based on similar project activities elsewhere in the Maldives, the island and the reef will
recover from the expected impacts rapidly and will re-establish a new ecological balance relatively
soon (around 3-5 years). IN order to gather consistent data on possible changes taking place it is
proposed to undertake an extensive post-development monitoring programme that will keep on
monitoring the environmental changes associated with the development and make necessary
adjustment to the activities of the project based on the findings of various measured environmental
parameters suggested in the monitoring plan.
13- The study has identified the following beneficial effects form the proposed agricultural development
project in Hulhuvaarulaa, Menthandhoo, Golhaalaa and Dhoonirehaa:
• Creation of competitive agriculture market for locally grown fruits and vegetables;
• Availability of locally grown high quality salad crops that can cater for the high-end tourist
• Employment: Temporary (10-30 job opportunities during construction period) permanent
(over 10-20 jobs during operational phase);
• Development of business opportunities in supply and services; and
• Capacity building and technology transfer opportunities in modern farming practices.
• Improvement of public facilities and infrastructure, general improvement of social conditions
and service industry activities, in addition to the increased national agriculture and economic
• Better guardianship of the terrestrial and marine resources of the four islands;
• Improvements in environmental quality of the island;
• Stimulation of local economy, cultivation and small business opportunities within the nearby
island communities; and
• Increased government revenue and increased GDP.
The study found no evidence that the project requires or involves:
• loss of unique habitat or wilderness areas;
• resettling of local communities;
• removing or destroying cultural properties or archaeological sites;
• contravening national government of the Republic of Maldives, or island community policies,
regulations, criteria, customs or aspirations concerning environment, economy, employment,
cultural traditions or life styles.
14- On the basis of this environmental impact assessment study and the impact mitigation measures
proposed in the report will be duly implemented and recommendations are given due consideration, it
is concluded that the benefits of the proposed agriculture development project in Gdh Hulhuvaarulaa,
Menthandhoo, Golhaalaa and Dhoonirehaa will substantially outweigh an unwelcomed demand of
burden on the environment.|