23 November 2010 - The African-Eurasian Migratory
Waterbird Agreement and RWE
Rhein-Ruhr Netzservice have signed a historic
Cooperation Agreement to support an independent review and
the development of guidelines for mitigating and avoiding
the conflict between migratory birds and electricity power
grids in the African-Eurasian region.
“Many species of migratory birds, especially large species, fall victim to transmission lines, conductors or poles of electricity power grids. For some populations, this may pose a critical threat and lead to significant declines.” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species.
“The international review and the resulting guidelines will be an important first step towards reducing this threat and will help countries address the problem in the context of CMS, the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement and the Raptor MoU” underlined Mrema.
Although a number of countries have already passed specific legislation on protecting birds from fatalities on the electricity power grid, the magnitude of the bird-power grid conflict is still poorly understood on the larger scale of the African-Eurasian region.
“We hope that the review and guidelines will give us a better understanding of the existing bird-power grid conflict in the African-Eurasian region and will provide a practical overview of the various solutions and guidance available on mitigating and avoiding the electrocution and collision of migratory birds in the AEWA region and beyond.” said Bert Lenten, the Executive Secretary of AEWA and Acting Deputy Executive Secretary of CMS.
The international review is being made possible through the support from RWE Rhein-Ruhr Netzservice, a daughter company of RWE, one of the largest energy companies in Europe. The company has specialized in fitting preventive “bird-reflectors” to high-voltage powerlines using a helicopter as a measure to try to reduce the collision of large birds with the powerlines.
"As RWE Rhein-Ruhr Netzservice we are pleased to be able to support the UNEP Convention on Migratory Species and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement in carrying out this important study on bird protection. We are certain that our method of fitting bird protection markings to overhead powerlines from a helicopter can contribute to avoiding the conflict between migratory birds and electricity power grids", says Dr. Peter Birkner, Managing Director of RWE Rhein-Ruhr Netzservice GmbH.
The signing ceremony took place today in the margins of the 37th Meeting of the Standing Committee to the UNEP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, currently being held in Bonn, Germany from 23-24 November 2010.