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dc.contributor.authorMusthafa, Amir-
dc.identifier.citationMusthafa, A. (2016). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed deep sea dredging to reclaim and develop 3 resort islands in North Male’ Atoll lagoon. Male': Maldivesen_US
dc.description.abstractThis report is the EIA undertaken for the Proposed deep sea dredging to reclaim and develop 3 resort islands in North Male’ Atoll lagoon (4o40’28.8”N 73o32’02.2”E - 4o40’18.4”N 73o32’24.6”E). The EIA for the 3 Resort island reclamation and development have been approved by the Ministry of Tourism on 26th May 2016. This EIA only studies the proposed borrow area for the deep sea dredging and the conditions and impacts of dredging from this area. An Environmental Impact Assessment was necessary for the works outlined in this report as they fall under the ‘Jadhuvalu R’ of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2012 of the Maldives. This report would further conform to the Dredging and Reclamation regulation. In addition to meeting the regulatory requirements, the report would further assist the proponent and important stakeholders to make decisions in an environmentally sound manner. Although this is for a tourism development, since the borrow area is not within an area dedicated for tourism activities, an approval from the EPA was necessary. Potential borrow areas in the northern areas of North Male’ Atoll close to the project area was investigated. The dredging location chosen is about 5 km west of the Project site. The overall environmental impacts of the project have been assessed using frameworks found on literature and the results indicate that the proposed project has minimum negative impact and have an overall net positive outcome. The approved EIA discusses both lagoon dredging using a Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD), and deep sea lagoon dredging using a Trailer Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) The main environmental positive impacts due to opting for TSHD is that there will be virtually no impact on the house reef of the project site due to the dredging activities. Furthermore, the proposed borrow area is not even remotely close to any site designated as a sensitive area or protected area by the EPA. There are some locations that are used by Divers close to the borrow area. However, the dredging location is still over 500m away from these locations. Dredging activities will no doubt increase sedimentation impacts in the area, and diving at these 3-4 locations during the dredging activities will not be pleasant. However, lasting impacts are not envisaged based on other similar projects undertaken recently. There are no known popular bait fishing grounds near the borrow area. There are no additional impacts due to reclamation as there is no change in scope with regards to this component from the approved EIA. Important stakeholders for the project include Helengeli Island Resort, Gaafaru council, Ministry of Tourism, and Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture. The main reservations by the stakeholders is the fact that sand is borrowed from area perceived to be close the respective stakeholders property. Moreover, they expressed their concerns on the impact of dredging works on the fisheries and tourism of the North Atoll. Gaafaru council did note that they did not have much concerns with regards to the project due to the proximity of Gaafaru with respect to the borrow area, and due the presence of deep sea in-between. The stakeholders were informed of the previous islands reclaimed under the same project and how the impacts were minimal. Alternative borrow area options are not viable as the sand search campaign concluded that there are no other significant sand depots within close proximity to the project area. However, another sand deposit 11.5km from the project site was investigated. It is envisaged that this area can barely the supply of sand required. Importing sand from abroad will be very costly and will have further negative impacts at the reclaim site and is not regarded as a realistic alternative. It is recommended to continue to monitor the impacts of the proposed project by regular monitoring of marine water quality and marine environment. The monitoring plan proposed in the approved EIA is slightly modified to include more monitoring locations, near borrow area. A two stage monitoring plan is given, which recommends monitoring during dredging activities, and a monitoring trip straight after completion of dredging.. Undertaking the monitoring, along with the mitigation measures is necessary to ensure the sustainable development of the project with minimum harm to the environment. It is thus recommended that since the project has major socio-economic benefits and environmental benefits as detailed in the initial EIA and summarised in this report, to allow the project to proceed as proposed. Moreover, since the proposed borrow area is at a considerable distance from any sensitive area, and since the initial EIA has been approved, and also considering the fact that the sand search campaign resulted in only 1 location within reasonable distance from the project to obtain sufficient volumes of sand, there is no viable reason to postpone or cancel the project due to this change. However, mitigation measures should be in place and continuous monitoring should be undertaken.en_US
dc.subjectResort development projectsen_US
dc.subjectLegislative and regulatory considerationsen_US
dc.subjectExisting environmenten_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental impactsen_US
dc.subjectSocio-economic impactsen_US
dc.subjectMitigation measuresen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental monitoringen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental impact assessmentsen_US
dc.titleEnvironmental impact assessment for the proposed deep sea dredging to reclaim and develop 3 resort islands in North Male’ Atoll lagoonen_US
dc.typeTechnical Reporten_US
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