Amata International Co., Ltd Limited is planning to set up an island resort in the Balar and Phoni Islands in Southern Yangon. The islands are around 15 nautical miles west off the mainland from Aung Bar village near Kawthaung Township in Thanintharyi region. The islands are uninhabited and have a total area of 700 Acre of which the resort will cover around 100 Acres. The project owner, Amata International Co has engaged the consultants, MyAsia Consulting Co., Ltd to perform the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (EIA/SIA) study and formulate the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the island resort construction and operation. This report is for the scoping phase of the EIA/SIA study to establish the terms of reference (ToR) for the assessment.
Tourism development is prioritized in the Government’s ‘Framework for Economic and Social Reforms (FESR) as “potentially one of Yangon’s most important sectors, with tremendous potential to contribute to greater business opportunities and balancing social and economic development if properly managed and developed”. There are four other island resorts under development in the project area as the location is dotted with islands having pristine beaches.
The project will operate by the high standards used by the island based ecotourism sector globally and will aim environmental friendly, sustainable ways of functioning. The project plans to operate as per the guidance from global standards for energy efficiency, food safety (ISO 22000), Occupational Health & Safety (OHSAS), and Environment (ISO 14001). The design of the project will incorporate these requirements to make it function in a sustainable manner.
The island resort is planned to have a jetty, total 50 bungalows of which 20 are planned in Phoni Island and 30 are planned in Balar Island, a dive centre, staff accommodations, and office buildings. The source of power for the resort is from Diesel Generators and the resort is expected to consume a maximum of around 320 Gallons of water per day per guest room. The resort will provide jobs to local people during operational phase and during the construction phase.
The project has many positive impacts that include improvement of the livelihoods of the local population in terms of direct and indirect employment, provision of better choices to the foreign travellers and investors and attract investments in the hospitality sector from international brands.
The potential negative impacts of the projects are the atmospheric emissions from the usage of fossil fuels, depletion of water resources, marine water pollution from waste disposal, restrictions in access to the islands for local people, increase in population and traffic in the area and possible fire break-out accidents which can be managed with proper mitigation measures incorporated in the environment Management Plan (EMP). The EIA study and reporting will cover the extent of the negative impacts and also assess the social impact on the local population with reference to their livelihoods.