1st Meeting of the Energy Task Force

Bonn, 29 November 2016 – the first meeting of the Multi-Stakeholder Energy Task Force is taking place in Cape Town from 1 to 2 December.

The Task Force has been established following a decision by the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) taken at their 12th Conference (Quito, 2014).  Resolution 11.27, Renewable Energy and Migratory Species, instructed the CMS Secretariat  to work with the Secretariats of AEWA, other relevant CMS instruments and the Bern and Ramsar Conventions, their Parties and other stakeholders such as NGOs and, most importantly,  the energy industry to promote the benefits of existing decisions, encourage the implementation of current guidance and develop new actions plans and guidelines as appropriate.

Existing energy infrastructure such as overhead electricity cables and poles lead to the death of thousands of wild birds through collision.  New technologies generating power from renewable sources are to be welcomed as they reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels and therefore contribute to efforts to mitigate climate change, one of the greatest drivers of biodiversity loss.  However, wind farms and hydroelectric plants also take their toll on wildlife –birds and bats die as a result of collisions with wind turbines and the construction of offshore wind farms causes noise harmful to whales and dolphins. Dams prevent aquatic animals such as fish, turtles and dolphins from migrating.

CMS and its associated Agreements have a track record of seeking solutions with satisfactory outcomes for a power producers, consumers, conservationists and wildlife.  AEWA worked with the German power company RWE, to produce “Guidelines on How to Avoid or Mitigate Impact of Electricity Power Grids on Migratory Birds in the African-Eurasian Region”.  At COP11 which established the Task Force, Parties also considered the report “Renewable Energy Technology Deployment and Migratory Species: an Overview” and endorsed the renewable energy guidelines.  COP10 in Bergen had endorsed the guidelines on powerlines.

The generous support of the German Government has enabled a coordinator, based at the headquarters of BirdLife International in Cambridge, UK to be appointed to oversee the work of the Task Force and the first meeting to be convened.   The Task Force has its own dedicated pages on the CMS website and more details of the Cape Town meeting can be found here.

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, through the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) were recognized as Champion Plus for their generous support and commitment towards Reconciling Energy Sector Developments with Migratory Species Conservation for the period 2015-2017. The Energy Task Force has been funded with the contribution granted by Germany under the Migratory Species Champion Programme.

Last updated on 02 December 2016