060-i. Advice on ToR and review: EIA for land reclamation Vilufushi island - Maldives

The NCEA advised on Terms of Reference (ToR) for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a land reclamation project on Vilufushi island. Subsequently, it carried out an independent review of the resulting EIA report. It concluded that the report was in general well-written and complete, but that some aspects needed more attention before decisions could be taken on licensing.

Advisory reports and other documents

07 Apr 2005: Terms of reference
Accompanying letter
Appendices Advice
18 Dec 2005: Advisory review
Appendices Advice

Significant details

As part of the post-tsunami reconstruction of Vilufushi island, a Dutch dredging company planned to carry out dredging and land reclamation activities. It applied for ORET funding. FMO, which executes the ORET programme on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assesses all ORET applications for feasibility. It requested advice from the NCEA on the process and contents of this EIA report. Initially, the NCEA submitted an advice of the secretariat to fulfil this request. Based on this advice, FMO invited the NCEA to also draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the study.

These ToR was prepared by a working group of experts, based on a site visit which was used for discussions on the procedure, scoping, definition of consultation target groups, and alignment with other activities. The NCEA's advise on ToR includes the following sections:

  • Problem analysis and project objectives;
  • Project setting (legislative, institutional, public/agency involvement);
  • Description of the project and alternatives;
  • Description of the natural and socio-economic environment and its autonomous development;
  • Impacts;
  • Comparison of implementation alternatives;
  • Gaps in information and knowledge;
  • Monitoring and evaluation;
  • Format and presentation of EIA report.

The experts involved in drafting the ToR for this EIA also executed the EIA itself. After submission of the EIA report, the NCEA was also asked to independently review the quality of this report. Its main finings are:

  • The report is well-written, well illustrated and fairly complete;
  • Nevertheless, there are some shortcomings which are recommended to be repaired in a supplement to the EIA report before decisions are taken on license granting;
  • In addition, there are wome gaps and shortcomings that are less urgent and can be addressed after decision-making on the license.

Recommended repairments as referred to under the second bullet above include:

  • Convincingly demonstrate that Vilufushi island is the best option for this project in comparison to other islands, from technical, social, economic and environmental viewpoints;
  • Include a chapter on the objectives of the initiative;
  • Indicate various roles and responsibilities more clearly;
  • Give more details on some specified technical issues;
  • Describe the preferred alternative of the proponent, as compared to the alternative contributing maximally to sustainability.

After the NCEA's advisory review, the ORET application for this project has been approved by FMO, under the following conditions:

  • A socio-economic addendum shall be prepared;
  • Recommendations from the advisory review shall be included as conditions in the agreement with the dredging company.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Trudi van Ingen
Marinus (Rinus) Vis, PhD

Chair: Klaas-Jan Beek
Technical secretary: Ineke Steinhauer

Proponent and Component Authority

Ministry of Finance - Maldives
Ministry of Planning and Development - Maldives
Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster nv

Component Authority
FMO - the Netherlands Development Finance Company
Ministry of Environment - Maldives

Further details

Country: Maldives

Last modified: 28 May 2019