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Title: Environmental impact assessment for proposed coastal protection works in Dh. Maaenboodhoo Island
Authors: Zuhair, Mohamed
Shakir, Ibrahim
Keywords: Study area
Project description
Legal policy and administrative framework
Existing environment
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Stakeholder consultations
Environmental monitoring
Issue Date: Nov-2015
Citation: Zuhair, M. & Shakir, I. (2015). Environmental impact assessment for proposed coastal protection works in Dh. Maaenboodhoo Island. Male': Maldives
Abstract: The proposed project is to protect areas affected by beach erosion on the NE, SE, NW and SW of Dh. Maaenboodhoo Island by means of rock boulder revetment breakwater and geobag revetment. In this regard, it is proposed to build a 220m long rock boulder revetment breakwater along the NE side, 550m long rock boulder revetment breakwater along the SE side, 225m long geo-bag revetment along the NW shoreline and 190m long geo-bag revetment along the SW shoreline of the island. Furthermore, profiling and backfilling of beach areas on the NW and SW sides as well as obtaining core fill material for the rock boulder revetments are an important part of the proposed project. As the proponent of the project, it is proposed by Ministry of Environment and Energy and has been awarded to Sas e Senok JV Pvt. Ltd. on design and built basis. As the contractor for the project, Sas e Senok JV Pvt. Ltd. has undertaken the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report to be submitted to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval. This EIA is prepared as per the Terms of Reference (TOR) approved by Environment Protection Agency (EPA) on 23 September 2015. The scope of this EIA is to assess the existing environmental condition of Maaenboodhoo Island and surrounding environment, identify potential environmental impacts, propose environmental management and mitigation measures to minimize environmental impacts as well as propose an environmental monitoring plan with appropriate environmental parameters to monitor changes during construction and post construction stages of the development. Maaenboodhoo Island is found at Longitude 72.963335 and Latitude 2.695566 in a 5km long reef found on the southern periphery of Dhaalu Atoll. The island is found in the NE tip of the reef and has a NE-SW orientation. The longest point of the island has approximately 950m and the widest point has approximately 350m. The average area of the island is about 20.4ha. Main environmental impacts from the proposed project will be from sedimentation including water quality deterioration, reef damage as well as direct destruction of lagoon habitats within the project boundary as well as permanent changes to the shoreline of the island where project activities will be implemented. Although, these impacts are inevitable, it is effects can be reduced by implementing various environmental management and mitigation measures such as undertaking the activities of the project coinciding with low tide and on calm days as well as undertaking the operations in the quickest possible timeframe to reduce impact exposure period and construct physical barriers to reduce sedimentation. During post construction, environmental impacts identified include risk of flooding in land fill areas as well as physical damage to geo bag revetments as a result of excessive and some destructive use. The key benefit of the project is to protect the shorelines of the island from further beach erosion and protect infrastructure on the island. With regards to mitigating and reducing significant environmental impacts from the project, the following measures including use of physical barriers such as sand beds and undertake the activities in shortest possible time and on calm days at low tides, as well as directing sedimentation into the deep lagoon area and number of other measures have been proposed. Although there are a number of environmental impacts from the proposed development, some of these can bring permanent changes to the environment of the island, other impacts can be reduced and mitigated by use of appropriate methodology. The effectiveness of these methodologies can be documented by implementing a comprehensive monitoring programme. Also, with positive social outlook of the project and considering the overall need for the project, it is concluded that the project should go ahead as planned.
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