The role of environmental impact assessment in the sustainable artificial island development: A Qatar's Island case study

Abstract
With the expeditious economic and population growth, trade, and tourism, artificial island development (AID) has gained interest in overcoming available land limitations in the past decades. The Arabian Gulf is characterized by extreme temperatures and high salinities and is home to diverse marine habitats comprising reefs, mangroves, swamps, and seagrass meadows. However, these ecosystems are witnessing stern pressure due to reclamation activities for AID. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) is extensively used globally to produce sustainable management standards. One such case of environmental concerns associated with the AID was focused on in this study is Qatar's island (QI). A comprehensive EIA was carried out before and during the construction activities. The analyses include meteorology, hydrodynamics, wave climate and bathymetry, seawater and sediment quality, infauna habitat and benthic species, and fish community. Results showed overall median turbidity levels recorded (5.39 NTU at buoy 1) and (2.46 NTU at buoy 2) were within the baseline survey (5.2 ± 11.8 NTU). Before construction, Se and Ba levels were higher according to the sediment quality analysis; however, during construction, the levels were within acceptable ranges per Dutch requirements. In addition, strategic measures and guidelines were proposed, which can be opted for future developments.

Citation
Afzal, M. S., Tahir, F., & Al-Ghamdi, S. G. (2023). The role of environmental impact assessment in the sustainable artificial island development: A Qatar’s Island case study. Cleaner Environmental Systems, 9, 100111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cesys.2023.100111

Acknowledgements
This research was funded by a scholarship (210033745) from Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of the Qatar Foundation (QF). The author(s)' opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations stated in this material are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of HBKU or QF.

Publisher
Elsevier BV

Journal
Cleaner Environmental Systems

DOI
10.1016/j.cesys.2023.100111

Additional Links
https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2666789423000053

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