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Title: Initial environmental examination : for the proposed installation meteorological mast in Gaafaru island, North Kaafu atoll
Authors: Aleem, Abdul
Keywords: Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental impact assessments
Meteorological mast
Issue Date: Jul-2010
Citation: Aleem, A. (2010). Initial environmental examination : for the proposed installation meteorological mast in Gaafaru island, North Kaafu atoll. Male': Maldives
Abstract: The purpose of this Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) report is to fulfil the requirements of the Environment Protection and Preservation Act to undertake an assessment of effects on the natural and human environment of the proposed installation of a meterological mast in the island of Gaafaru. The project involves construction of a meteorological mast commonly called “Met Mast” as the first phase of a much larger project, Development and operation of a wind park on the reef of Gaafaru. The development and operation of the Wind Park is a priority for the Government of the Maldives in order to meet the “Carbon Neutral Maldives 2020” strategic goals. In order for this wind park to be feasible, adequate data has to be collected. This proposed project is therefore the first phase of the project which involves installation of an 80 meter tall mast in the island of Gaafaru. The project is proposed in an area of the island where presently there is only boat building activities and the area being open pose no threat to any terrestrial tree species. The project does not involve cutting of any trees to erect the mast and hence is not considered to be environmentally damaging. The mast will be placed on concrete footings which will be buried at a depth of 5 feet and hence ensure that a firm support is provided. A total of seven footings will be constructed and this itself does not pose any environmental threats. The positive impacts or benefits of the project are enormous. These include, the collection of long term regional weather data that is not presently available in Maldives, promotion of renewable energy and increasing the awareness of renewable energy among the public, and lastly but not least, indirect social benefits from the project that results in increased visitors to the island by the project personnel. If data collected in this phase is adequate and feasible, the wind farm project in Gaafaru will take place and hence will bring enormous economic benefits to the island and the country. There are very few environmental impacts and they are also considered to be negligible or very minor. The project is therefore not considered to be of any threat to the environment, but has more social and economic benefits.
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