Updated Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) report for Batumi Coastal Protection Project, (SUTIP 4), funded by ADB

March 2, 2016

The present report is the Initial Environmental Examination of the coastal protection works foreseen for Batumi. Purpose of the present report is the presentation of the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) as an important tool for incorporating environmental concerns at the project level.

Coastal improvement is one of the priorities among other infrastructural projects, which will facilitate the future development of the City and region. The proposed project is aimed at protecting the Batumi coast against erosion, which is affecting the coastline southwest of Batumi, over a length of about 5 km. Along this section a number of properties has been lost already in the past; without adequate protection measures coastal erosion will continue and as a consequence the investment climate for tourism development could be negatively influenced.

The evaluation of the alternatives to protect the coast against the erosion affecting the southern section of the littoral has shown that a soft intervention, featuring recirculation of the sediment between the northern section of the littoral (where it accumulates due to natural transport pattern) and the southern portion (from where it is removed due to erosion), is the most efficient way to protect and restore the beach.

In addition to sediment recirculation, the beach in the South, suffering erosion, will also be protected by a revetment and enlarged over a stretch about 2 km long. Both sediment from recirculation (gravel) and sediment from excavation (needed to build the revetment) will provide nourishment to this southern portion of the littoral. In particular, in this first intervention, the gravel material from recirculation (approximately 30,000 m3) will be used to form the toe of the new enlarged beach.

A monitoring program has also been foreseen, to provide the information needed to analyze the possibility to re-orientate the river discharge towards North, in order to minimize the loss in the canyon of the sediments transported by the river Chorockhi.

The Environmental Category of the proposed project for Batumi coastal protection is B (ADB’s Safeguard Policy Statement, 2009), which refers to projects not having significant irreversible or permanent negative environmental impacts during or after construction. For this category of Projects ADB requires the preparation of Initial Environmental Examination (IEE).

The presented IEE report provides:

(i)    an overview of latest national and local legal and institutional framework, within which the environmental assessment is carried out and project-relevant international environmental agreements to which the country is a party;

(ii)  information about the general environmental settings of the project area as baseline data;

(iii)        assessment of project alternatives in terms of sustainability and efficiency;

(iv)information on potential impacts of the project and the characteristic of the impacts, magnitude, distribution, duration, affected groups;

(v)  information on potential mitigation measures to minimize the impact including mitigation costs;

(vi) basic information for formulating management and monitoring plan.

This documentation has been prepared based upon the design solution developed by Technital SpA (Italy), with nominated Sub consultants Deltares (Netherlands) and Saunders (Georgia).