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|Title: ||Environmental impact assessment for the proposed artificial beach in Ga. Villingili, North Huvadhu Atoll|
|Authors: ||Riyaz, Mahmood|
Adam, Mohamed Shiham
|Keywords: ||Beaching area development|
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Existing environmental conditions
General meteorological conditions
Existing coastal environment
Existing marine environment
Environmental impact assessments
|Issue Date: ||Nov-2016|
|Citation: ||Riyaz, M. & Adam, M. S. (2016). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed artificial beach in Ga. Villingili, North Huvadhu Atoll. Male': Maldives|
|Abstract: ||1- This is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report carried out for GA Villingili
Island Council to develop a public recreation area for swimming and picnics on the north eastern end
of Villingili Island. The project is funded by the Ensis Fisheries Pvt. Lts as part of their Cooperate
Social Responsibility (CSR) related to the proposed fisheries development in GA Raaverehaa. The
island was used by locals for picnics. The project involves deepening 3859m2 swimming area, and
sources the material for beach replenishment, coastal protection work and construction of toilets
showers and changing rooms in the beach area. The EIA was prepared as fulfillment of the
requirement by the Environmental Protection Agency under the dredging and reclamation regulation
(Regulation 2013/R-15) 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- This report has been prepared in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment
Regulations published by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in 2012 and covers both negative
and positive environmental and socio-economic impact arising from the proposed project in GA
Villingili Island. Major findings of this report are based on information gathered during the field
inspection of both the existing environment and possible effects of the project activities, through
extensive literature review and experiences gained from similar projects elsewhere in the Maldives.
3- The proposed project activity will take place in GA Villingili Island. Villingili is the capital of
GA Atoll and lies in Huvadhu Atoll in a 20 km long elongated N-S oriented reef located on the north
eastern periphery of GA Atoll. Villingili is an elongated-oval shape, N-S oriented island large part of
the island has been reclaimed. Average depth of the reef flat is on the eastern side of the island is
between less than -0.5 to -1.5m m from MSL. Reef perimeter is 43km and the area is approximately
25sqkm. The reef is shared by three more islands including Villingili Island. The distance from the
edge of the reclaimed beach to the reef edge in both eastern and western sides is fairly consistent
measured approximately 160-200m on the east and 200m on the western side.
5- The proposed development will take place on the north eastern coastal area of the Villingili.
The coastal environment of GA Villingili has been extensively modified, particularly the eastern and
western sides of the island. Over 40 hectares of land has been reclaimed from the eastern side under
the land reclamation project. With the extensive reclamation and expansion and subsequent
urbanisation the two marshy lands that exists on the northern and southern side of the island has
significantly decreased in size and the natural environment has been altered. The eastern shoreline has
been protected by a rock boulder revetment. Two harbours are developed on the western side of the
island. The harbours are protected with a rock boulder breakwater and a quay wall has been
constructed at the inner edge of the harbour. Three entrance channels have been cut through the reef
flat into the inner atoll lagoon on the western side.
6- The proposed project involves deepening of 3859m2 area to a depth of 1-2m and source the
dredged material, approximately 5788.5-7718m3 sand, for beach replenishment. 182m long coastal
protect made of rock boulders will be constructed around the swimming and beach replenished area.
The area proposed for dredging a very shallow (0.5-1.5m exposed at low tide) on the eastern reef flat
of Villingili Island. The area is covered with sand, seagrass and rubble. There are numerous coral
patches and individual coral colonies on the reef flat.
7- During the preparation of the EIA report an impact matrix, which is a standard tool for
identifying the possible impacts of project activities, has been created for proposed development
project in GA Villingili Island. 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 result of project activities.
The environmental impact assessment study for proposed development of artificial beach in GA
Villingili shows there are two main activities that would cause significant negative environmental
impacts are lagoon dredging, beach nourishment and coastal structures and impacts of solid waste
during the operational phase
Of these a long term impact would be from lagoon dredging and beach nourishment activity to create
a beach and deepen the swimming area. Potential erosion/accretion and adjustment of the existing
beach to create a new equilibrium with the surrounding environmental conditions are likely to extend
to medium to long term. These impacts would be cumulative occurring over long period of time and
so can be managed through proper monitoring and addressing them in a timely manner. Based on the
scale of dredging and beach nourishment work projects that is taking place in Maldives, impacts
associated with the proposed dredging activity is insignificant.
Inadequate methods of solid waste management during the operation phase of the artificial beach will
generate marine pollution in the surrounding area, which in turn will have detrimental impacts on
coral reefs as well as on reef fish populations and coastal vegetation. Thus, the beach will become
aesthetically unattractive and unpleasant, which can tremendously affect the prime use of the beach as
a recreational area. These impacts could be managed through adoption of proper garbage management
practices such as a permanent staff to look after the beach and placement of adequate number of
dustbins and other relevant management measures. However, the positive socio economic impacts
from the proposed development outweigh the temporary negative impacts of lagoon dredging beach
replenishment and coastal protection work.
The study has evaluated alternative locations for the project and found that the extended beach, five
hundred meters south of the proposed area would be a more preferable option for the proposed
artificial beach development in GA Villingili Island. Based on the similar project activities elsewhere
in the Maldives the published report found, that the lagoon will recover from the impacts of dredging,
reclamation and coastal modifications and will re-establish a new ecological balance soon. Even
though there is no very significant impact from this project after the report has come-up with an
extensive monitoring programme that will keep on monitoring coastal and marine environmental
changes associated with dredging and make necessary adjustment based on the findings of various
measured environmental parameters suggested in the monitoring plan.
The study found that the proposed project is in line with key legal and policies maintained by the
Government authorities and EPA including Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (4/93),
EIA Regulations 2012, and land-use plans developed by the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure.
Therefore, 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 development of artificial beach and swimming area
in the selected location in this study in GA Villingili will substantially outweigh its imposition on the
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