EPA failing to publish airport impact reports

EPA failing to publish airport impact reports
December 26 17:59 2017

Environmental impact assessments have been approved for two airports without the reports being published or opened for comments, an NGO has claimed.

Save Maldives raised concerns about the projects in Maafaru and Funadhoo on Sunday, saying the Environmental Protection Agency had yet to make its findings public.

The EPA was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Maafaru airport is part of a US$60 million (MVR924 million) agreement with the Abu Dhabi Fund to develop ultra-luxurious tourism in Noonu atoll.

Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer told media the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development had contracted Singaporean company Tuff Offshore Engineering for the construction work of the airport and hotel.

It is not clear who has been contracted to build Funadhoo airport as the government terminated a deal with Malaysia’s Gryphon Energy Corporation.

The Maldives thirst for airports has raised alarm about the potential for environmental damage.

Mangrove Action Project (MAP) sent President Abdulla Yameen a letter last week referencing the “tragic consequences” of destroying a unique mangrove system and surrounding wetlands in Kulhudhuffushi to make way for an airport.

The MAP letter highlighted several issues with the reclamation work, calling the decision to develop an airport “irresponsible”.

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