062-i. Advisory review: EIAs for Taparura town development

The NCEA reviewed a number of documents - including three EIAs - for various aspects of the Taparura town development project. It concluded that most aspects are addressed sufficiently, but that a description of the selection/assessment of site alternatives is missing.

Advisory reports and other documents

13 Jul 2006: Advisory review
Accompanying letter
Appendices Advice

Significant details

A Dutch dredging company planned to carry out a number of activities for the Taparura Town Development project in Sfax. These included removal and storage of polluted materials, reshaping and isolation of the deposit facility, sand mining, and land reclamation. The company applied for ORET funding. Under the agreement between the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NCEA, all projects applying for ORET funding require review of their EIAs by the NCEA. Therefore, the NCEA was invited by Dutch development bank FMO to review the EIA of the before mentioned activities for the Taparura project. Specifically, the questions posed to the NCEA concerned:

  • whether or not the available documents provide an adequate description of the project's environmental and social impacts;
  • whether or not the described measures suffice to meet international IFC/World Bank guidelines.

The NCEA's advice was based on a desk review, by an expert working group, of the following documents:

  • three EIA reports for sanitation and storage, dredging and land reclamation, and the subsequent town development plan;
  • a site selection report for topsoil mining to cover the new deposit;
  • a report with technical provisions;
  • and two working documents from the ORET applicant and executers consortium.

Main findings, described in the advisory review, include:

  • The documents do not adequatly explain environmental and social impacts of the site selection, neither do they explain how and why alternatives were discarded;
  • Apart from this aspect, the studies contain the essential information on environmental and social aspects;
  • Nevertheless, some issues are recommended for further consideration, among which:
    • A study synthesis could be useful for readability of the studies;
    • Inclusion of environmental consequences/limitations of polluted materials in the harbour area for future city developments;
    • Clarification on the quantity of sand needed for land reclamation;
    • Exploration of possibilities for sand mining on a larger depth, which could minimise the affected surface area and thus ecological inpact.

A number of more detailed observations are also included in the NCEA's report. In addition, a number of issues that could be added to the monitoring plan for the project were identified.

Outside the scope of the review, but welcomed by FMO, the NCEA gave some general observations regarding the future city development.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Joop de Schutter
Frank Wijnants

Chair: Klaas-Jan Beek
Technical secretary: Petrie van Gent

Proponent and Component Authority

Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster nv
Société d’Études et d’Amenagement des Côtes Nord de la Ville de Sfax

Component Authority
FMO - the Netherlands Development Finance Company

Further details

Country: Tunisia

Last modified: 10 Jul 2018