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Indonesia - Northern Sumatra Region Road Project : environmental and social impact assessment (Vol. 2) (Inglês)

This is an environmental assessment of the Northern Sumatra Regional Roads Project (NSRRP), which supports improvements in national, provincial, and kabupaten road networks across the region, emphasizing strategic links and network development, and improving and integrating planning procedures for all road networks in the region. The report notes that assessing the serious impacts road construction will cause has been constrained by the dictates of official government guidelines (hence recommendations for environmental mitigations reported here are considered faulty). Routine negative impacts generally specific to road construction include the following: 1) riverbed or coastal erosion; 2) noise and dust pollution, contamination of the drinking water supply, and disruption to indigenous communities; and 3) indirect impacts associated with increased accessibility, such as harvesting of forest products. Potential project-specific impacts include: 1) increased potential for erosion and landslides; 2) the downstream changes in the hydrological regime resulting from forest clearance; 3) increased access for exploiting natural resources, such as illegal logging and firewood collection in protected forests, and illegal hunting of endangered and protected wildlife; land clearing for unsustainable forms of agriculture, and uncontrolled encroachment into protected areas; 4) increased damage to fragile ecological habitats; and habitat fragmentation caused by the road barrier; and 5) displacement and relocation, and disruption particularly affecting indigenous and isolated communities. In the case of biological impacts, careful screening is planned to ensure that the direct loss of flora and fauna will be limited to that caused by land clearing. Impacts on the biological composition of water bodies will be mitigated by implementing technical guidelines, such as using culverts, avoiding pollution, etc. More significant and indirect impacts predicted to occur, from improved access into forest areas, for example, will be mitigated by environmental management and monitoring plans as covered, for the most part, under Indonesia s environmental legislation. To control erosion, retaining walls will be erected, although these reportedly will very likely create scars in the national park. To reduce disturbance to the fauna and flora during construction, working hours will be controlled, and the space required by the road limited. To reduce damage to the national park, proposed mitigation measures include a buffer zone of cultivated trees on both sides of the road; strict supervision of park visitors; guard posts at the park entrance and centrally to control illegal logging or land clearance (or wildlife capture); and developing economic facilities in the surrounding communities to reduce the need to find work opportunities in the forest. The assessment concludes that these measures are unlikely to prevent serious damage to the watershed, the forest, or to the national park; therefore strong environmental grounds exist to reject any recommendations to construct new roads in mountain forests, until there is the institutional capacity to ensure that mitigation measures can be effectively implemented, and no further damage occur.




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