Wednesday, November 7, 2007

EIA of Sentosa IR Development

For my Environmental Management and Assessment class, we were tasked to do an EIA of the Sentosa IR development prior to its construction. Yes, we pretend nothing has happened yet and write most idealistically.

Pretend this big hole is not here

Honestly the report we did was rushed and done so badly. I wanted to write 2,500 houses built at Sentosa Cove but instead wrote 2,5000 and nobody caught it while editing! Grrr, there are more mistakes like that. But having already submitted that, I think we should move forward.

Today at 6pm will be the presentation of our report. The powerpoint file is 16MB so I am not able to upload it on Google Documents. Instead I've fully utilized my server space with Lham and uploaded the entire powerpoint presentation.

If anybody is interested, this is my group's idea of how an EIA should be done on a project like the Sentosa IR. You can download the file here [PPT:16MB] if you feel like reading what we've come up with. I would not say it is the best that can be done but then it's been done within 2 weeks. Furthermore, in terms of scope and impacts studied, it's definitely more directed than the EIA actually commissioned by Resorts World which focus mainly on impact of the IR on the cruise center at Harborfront.

Furthermore, since a lot of the report is "play pretend" as we did not have the resources or time to actually do a real baseline study, everything you see in the report is based on surveys done by WildSingapore (marine) and Joe Lai (terrestrial). Sadly, I must admit that I had to overlook a lot of inaccuracies like the fact that the terrestrial plant list is actually of Siloso forest and not of the mount imbiah forest but I passed it off as the Mount Imbiah forest species list! It's mainly to give an idea on the type of data needed.

Joe Lai showing us on the map where the affected forest is

This is also not a full EIA report. It's just a summary based on the format given by the Asian Development Bank where they give the specific type of sections needed and how many pages per section. The reason why the ADB EIA reporting style is chosen is mainly part of the assignment requirements.

I am mainly in charge of the Description of Environment and Public Consultation section. Naturally, my area of expertise. I found a very interesting Geography honors thesis done in 1993 that talks about the physical changes to 3 offshore islands in Singapore - namely Kusu, St Johns and Sentosa. That report was exceedingly useful. Although personally I think the public consultation could have been done better if we had better communication and integration amongst my group of 7. Complicated but I shan't go into it. I'm just glad it's over.

Related Links

Photos of the construction at Sentosa.
Powerpoint file of my EIA report presentation. [16MB]

The presentation in class yesterday went really well. All 3 judges (lecturers on the marking panel) were very happy with our suggestion and presentation. We were able to provide historical examinations of the site and suggest not a no-go zone but to integrate the forest in with the development. Ultimately this site is really the best site on Sentosa to go ahead but to reclaim was a really bad idea. Thus the best mitigation would be to aspire for a truly green design at the site. To aspire towards the green mark award would be an excellent move for Genting if they wish to mitigate their own impacts on the environment. Still, really happy to know that our EIA report did well for the presentation.

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