More than 30 delegates from conservation NGOs and other organisations from 24 countries, such as Spain and the UK, as well as countries of the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans, met for a Mediterranean Flyway Conservation Network workshop organised in Lisbon (Portugal) by BirdLife International and hosted by SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal). The workshop titled ‘Mitigating the effects of wind farms and power lines on birds’ was supported by the MAVA Foundation and took place on 24 – 25 February 2016. BirdLife Cyprus participated at this workshop with one delegate.
The renewable energy sector is growing fast, particularly in the Mediterranean region where energy demand and production is set to increase in the coming years. However, without adequate environmental safeguards, spatial planning and best practice tools in place, the energy development and expansion will surely harm nature and wildlife. Hence, the workshop gave the opportunity for the participants to discuss how we should proceed to ensure that renewable energy developments incorporate nature conservation and become truly sustainable.
The discussions focused on identifying mitigation measures for the effects of wind farms and power lines on migratory (and resident) birds and brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including private sector, civil society and government. The key aims of this workshop were to: a) share lessons learned, and highlight areas of good practice and innovation, b) identify challenges and opportunities for partnerships and adoption of best practices, and c) provide input for the development and finalisation of a guidance document for this specific issue.