7202. Fuvahmulah coastal protection - Maldives - ORIO13MV01

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) has requested the NCEA to review the Terms of Reference (July 2016) and the ESIA-report (November 2016) for Coastal Protection of the island of Fuvahmulah in the Maldives. The project aims to protect the island (the only island of the Gnaviyani-atoll) against flooding. Flooding would have major negative impacts on crops, households, infrastructure and freshwater supply. In the ESIA various options have been considered, including an onshore revetment (the preferred alternative) and an offshore breakwater. The ESIA identifies the environmental and social impacts of the project and proposes a mitigation and monitoring plan.

Advisory reports and other documents

07 Jul 2016: Memorandum
Review ToR for ESIA Fuvahmulah Coastal Protection Maldives
02 Dec 2016: Advisory review
Review draft ESIA for Fuvahmulah Coastal Protection Maldives

Significant details

In July 2016 the NCEA, upon request of RVO, provided observations and comments on the quality of the draft Terms of Reference for the preparation of a full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report complying with the EIA Regulations of the Maldives and the Sustainability Framework of the IFC.

In november 2016, the NCEA was requested to review the quality of the ESIA, which was submitted to the EPA on October 31st 2016. The NCEA concluded that the ESIA provides a complete description of the problem analysis, possible solutions, impacts of these solutions and mitigation measures. The report shows that the preferred alternative - the onshore revetment - will be the most effective to solve the problems associated with coastal erosion and possible future chance of flooding. The main environmental impacts from the onshore revetment are expected to occur during construction. To reduce these impacts to a minimum it is essential to implement the mitigation measures that are proposed in the report, in close consultation with stakeholders on the island. A significant permanent and irreversible impact will be the change of the landscape of the existing coastal zone.

In the review advice the NCEA present key observations and recommendations for further development of the project plan, monitoring plan and preparations for construction. The NCEA recommends:

  • to elaborate and ensure the implementation of the environmental and social monitoring plan, and pay special attention to the development of the protected Thundi Beach area;
  • to develop a demographic development plan to possible mitigate negative impacts of demographic development.

In January 2018, RVO sent additional information to the NCEA with the request to check whether the NCEA observations and recommendations on the ESIA had been sufficiently integrated into the conditions for the contract. This was indeed the case, and the NCEA just gave a few additonial informal comments through e-mail. 
In September 2018, RVO asked the NCEA to check whether the following conditions had been met: 

  1. The additional surveys should incorporate an appropriate base line marine survey, which also takes indirect effects into account. Findings must be translated into the construction design.
  2. Environmental and Social Management Plan, including the actions plans must be completed in line with the IFC Performance Standards 2012.
The NCEA concluded in an e-mail advice that no. 1 has been fully met and no. 2 only partly.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Trudi van Ingen
Hans Ronald Jan van Maanen

Technical secretary: Ineke Steinhauer

Further details

Country: Maldives

Last modified: 19 Aug 2021