Environment and Natural Resource Planning
Concern for the environment is a key factor in development, and today both infrastructure and natural resource planning takes special note of environment criteria and safeguards in planning and designing interventions.

RDC has been engaged in carrying out environmental impact studies (EIA) on infrastructure development initiatives since the early eighties. Since these early experiences the capacity in this sector has grown and the company has carried out several EIA assignments associated with roads and highways, power, irrigation, water supply, solid waste, ports and harbour projects. Capability in formulating environmental solutions involving environmental engineering services such as geo-technical, surface water and mining studies can be packaged along with other project services. These can be components within infrastructure projects or incorporated into broader natural resource planning objectives.

Associated with national and regional planning, RDC has engaged on a significant number of projects that have involved wildlife, forestry, coastal, mineral and other natural resource planning objectives. These have been a part of resource specific studies or regional development projects that have included multiple productivity sectors for economic growth and livelihood development. Classification and assessment of varying habitats and ecosystems for planning purposes have been carried out.

Today RDC’s expertise has matured to cover a broad spectrum of related services that include various aspects of environmental and natural resource planning

Areas of Capability are:
  • Environmental Classification
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Emissions and pollution monitoring
  • Geo-technical studies
  • Reforestation and Watershed Management
  • Coastal Resources Conservation and Management
  • Wildlife Conservation and Protected Area Management
  • Forest Resources Development
  • Community/Stakeholder consultations for Environment and Social accountability
  • Recommending and Implementing Environmental Safeguards
Selected representative projects carried out by RDC in areas relevant to the Sector are briefly described below reflecting different aspects of the above mentioned service component areas.

Upper Watershed Management Project ADB PPTA No.2619 Sri Lanka
Funded by the ADB, this project was awarded to RDC by the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry. The Government of Sri Lanka had requested the ADB to fund a project in Sri Lanka for the management of critical catchment areas of the four of the country’s waterways, namely the Uma Oya, Kiri Oya, Walawe and Kalu Ganga. This Project Preparatory TA addressed the problems of declining agricultural yields, losses in natural vegetation, reduced stream flow levels, increased sedimentation in reservoirs and irrigation work. It also addressed the problems created by such natural disasters as flooding and landslides. The project identified approximately 20,000-30,000 ha of selected critical watershed areas for rehabilitation based on the degree of degradation.

Wetlands Conservation Project – Site Reports on Mundal Lake and Handapan Villu
This Project awarded by the Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka. An initial project appraisal was carried out in the two project areas of Puttalam and the Polonnaruwa district. The aim was to determine zones within wetland areas to determine which should be left for conservational purposes and which area could be exploited for development. The study also examined and reported on (i) ecological information of the wetland zone identifying vegetation cover and prevalent animal life; (ii) Socio-economic setting; (iii) External influences, pollution from effluent and waste disposal, hydrology patterns and changes in salinity; (iv) Existing structures and land ownership.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report –Alternate Highway between Colombo and Kandy
RDC provided expertise to the Road Development Authority, Sri Lanka, to carry out a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed Colombo / Kandy Expressway, taking into consideration the impacts of relocation, socio-economic issues and benefits in the long term, to be prepared in conformity with the guidelines of the Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka.

EIA Study for Construction of Uplands Reservoir – Greater Kandy Water Supply Augmentation Project
Commissioned by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB), Sri Lanka, with Japanese government assistance, this project proposed to construct a number of reservoirs and lay pipelines to improve the pipe borne water supply to the area. RDC Consultants were involved in the review of secondary data, collection of primary data through field surveys, visits and discussions with the key stakeholders consisting of the NWSDB, other relevant National and Local Authorities, and the community. In order to assess current status, carried out geological investigations at the proposed site to determine the slopes of the land, soil types, rock and other resources, an assessment of the fauna and flora likely to be affected and a socio economic survey to determine the impact of project activities on households in the project and peripheral areas. Assessed potential impacts on biological diversity, particularly in relation to rare and threatened eco systems, flora, fauna and biodiversity, illegal logging and extraction of timber for improved access during project period and after the project, impacts on physical environment such as soil erosion, land slides, siltation in river, loss of catchment, impacts to the water flows, etc. Proposed a mitigatory plan during project period and following project completion together with a monitoring plan to monitor project impacts during the construction period and thereafter.

Feasibility Study of the Proposed Sea Port at Hambantota
The objectives of the Study was to conduct a full scale feasibility study consisting of the technical, financial, commercial, economic, social and environmental viability on the proposed seaport and to further determine the optimum financing structure for the project based on the Government of Sri Lanka financing the cost of the breakwater and associated costs of dredging. The Hambantota Bay is a potential harbour basin with more than 200 hectares protected by the Hambantota headland on the west and bounded on the other sides by the salt plains and the Bundala bird sanctuary. It is also the only location in the Indian Ocean which can harbour 100 ships a day, with a water depth of 20 metres. The Study covered all aspects that would determine an overall master plan for the proposed port.

Feasibility Study of the Pudavaikaddu anchorage harbour
RDC was commissioned to carry out a feasibility study of the lagoon by the Ceylon Fisheries Harbours Corporation in order to assess the feasibility of developing an anchorage facility to cater for the emerging fishing industry, evaluating in detail the economic and other components of providing a new anchorage facility. Pudavaikaddu lies approximately 25 km north of Trincomalee Bay. It is an enclosed lagoon bounded by mangroves. The study took into account the flora, fauna and aquatic resources of the project area and identified possible adverse effects during construction. The socio-economic surveys of the project area assessed the impact of the proposed measures on the communities both resident and migratory, made a study of the acquisition needs and recommended measures for resettlement and compensation.

Local Government Infrastructure Improvement Project
RDC was engaged on this long term ADB loan project to upgrade the low technical and managerial capacities within Provincial Councils and Local Authorities (LA) under their management, to identify, formulate, develop and implement infrastructure sub projects towards improvement of services. The project entailed providing assistance to the Sub Project Coordinating Units (SPCUs) established in each Province. Adhering to environmental and community accountability standards was a key component of the services, especially vis a vis implementing resettlement plans as relevant and ensuring adherence to environment mitigation measures during planning and implementation.

North East Coastal Community Development Project Coastal Resource Planning and Resource Management in Special Management Areas
Funded by the ADB, this Project was carried out by RDC for the North East Provincial Council. The project aimed to reduce poverty and meet the basic needs in coastal communities in the three districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara in the Eastern Province, with emphasis on sustainable livelihood improvement and good management of natural resources. It comprised of five segments, sustainable livelihood improvement, resource management in three special management areas, coastal resources planning, fisheries development and project implementation support.

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