Great Ethiopian Run promotes bird safe energy infrastructure


Abu Dhabi, 17 February 2021 – The 20th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run took place last month in Addis Ababa and was a huge success with over 12,500 participants. 

This year, the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) was the flagship species for the run and the focus of a campaign to raise awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds of prey from electrocution and collision with energy infrastructure. With support from the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, BirdLife Africa and the Egyptian Vulture New LIFE project, runners sported a t-shirt slogan "Bird-Safe Energy Infrastructure" to promote the cause.

Ethiopia holds the largest known wintering congregation of the Egyptian Vulture and every year over 2,000 Egyptian Vultures gather in Eastern Ethiopia to roost. Electrocution and collision with powerlines are a key cause of bird mortality worldwide, and particularly impact vultures. Bird-safe infrastructure design is critical in order to mitigate this threat.

The EV New LIFE project supported the Great Ethiopian Run in the frame of the “Mile for the Egyptian Vulture” campaign, which engages marathon runners to raise awareness of the lengthy journey that migratory birds undertake each year.

The run provided an important opportunity to raise awareness and promote bird-safe energy infrastructure in Ethiopia. Conservation messages about vultures and other migratory soaring birds reached over 5 million people via different Ethiopian media. Representatives of key decision makers such as the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority and energy companies were among the VIP guests of the event.


Towards bird-safe energy infrastructure in Ethiopia 

Ethiopia signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MoU) at COP 13 in February 2020 which was a significant step towards strengthening the protection of migratory birds of prey within the country.

In November 2020, under the support of the Migratory Soaring Birds II project and the Egyptian Vulture New LIFE project, a MoU was signed between the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU), Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS). This MoU aims at ensuring harmony between energy infrastructure development and the conservation of migratory soaring birds and other vulnerable birds in Ethiopia.

Last updated on 17 February 2021

Energy production and mining
Infrastructure and service corridors
Neophron percnopterus
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infrastructure development