Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) procedures have been paving its way into most of the projects that are running in not only in Maldives, but throughout the world. One thought just stroke into my mind during one of our lectures by Dr. Prem Wattage, a famous econometrician who has done studies in various parts of the world about valuing our resources and quantifying them.
Environmental Impact Assessments that are carried out identifies the threats and the damages that could cause to the environment and highlights how it could be minimised or stopped at some circumstances. The project is mostly given a go, cause of the net benefits we would get in terms of wealth, sometimes just forgetting our future generations. The main reasons are that in normal financial analysis, we ignore the environment and the recovery costs from the damages caused to the environment. Sometimes these are represented in hidden costs or totally ignored. Thus companies are faced with huge dilemmas when the environment surrounding them deteriorates.
It is difficult to assess the values of the environment especially to the Maldives, but there are methodologies that could be used to go around with it. I am not sure whether we know how much our resources are worth economically? Do you?