The Governments of the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati and Nauru have proposed their joint participation in a regional fibre optic cable system to link the FSM island state of Kosrae, and the island nations of Kiribati and Nauru, to the existing Hannon-Armstrong (HANTRU)-1 cable which currently connects the FSM state of Pohnpei to Guam. The proposed multi-national cable system is known as the East Micronesia Cable (EMC). To fund their respetive participation in the EMC Project, the Governments of FSM and Kiribati are each seeking grant funding from the World Bank (WB), and the Nauru Government is seeking grant funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
This Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the EMC Project addresses the potential impacts relating to the installation and operation of the EMC by each of the three participating EMC parties. An Environmental & Social Management Plan (ESMP) is also provided which defines work area boundaries, work restrictions and time limits, to be included in the construction contract specifications which the contractor will need to comply with. Compliance will be monitored by a Safeguards Advisor who will be part of the project implementation unit in each country.
The EMC Project will require limited land-based infrastructure, will have minimal mainly marine-based impacts which are limited in scale and extent and can be fully mitigated, will require no involuntary land acquisition, and will use existing infrastructure for landing stations and for conveying land based cable or where new infrastructure is required will use existing government easements and leases. The sub-marine cable will affect a corridor no more than 3-4 m wide on the sea floor in the open ocean and nearshore zone.
The final design of the cable route will be decided during project implementation. For project preparation this ESIA has assessed the likely / probable cable routes and terrestrial infrastructure locations. The cable route will be designed to avoid sensitive habitats such as corals and Conservation Areas with placement guided by divers who will place the cable according to instructions from a marine ecologist. These measures will assist with mitigating potential impacts on the marine environment. Several viable options have been identified for sites to be used for each beach manhole (BMH) site and as cable corridors to each Cable Landing Station (CLS). Most sites are Government owned or leased and none require involuntary land acquisition or resettlement.
Policy, Legal & Administrative Framework
Analysis of Alternatives
Anticipated Impacts & Mitigation Measures
Information disclosure, Consultation & Participation