Red Electricá today presented in the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Territory of the Balearic Islands’ Government the ‘Mapping of bird flight paths’ project and the results of this work in the autonomous region, at a conference aimed at environmental specialists and forestry agents from the Institut Balear de la Natura (IBANAT).
The conference began with an introduction by the Director General for the Environment, Environmental Education and Climate Change, Neus Lliteras, and Red Eléctrica’s Regional Delegate in the Balearic Islands, Eduardo Maynau.
This project of Red Eléctrica, which began in 2010, is a geographic information system (GIS) that integrates nationwide data of bird flight paths (areas of presence and routes) in order to minimise the possible impact of new power transmission lines on birds and prioritise mitigating actions on existing lines.
This tool is based on the context of studying and finding solutions to problems arising from interactions between birds and power transmission lines. It facilitates the decision making process in the planning and construction phases of electricity installations in the territory and in the management of the existing grid by introducing the consideration of the protection of birdlife in all phases.
Similarly, it promotes transparency in processes regarding public information and consultation to society by providing a common framework shared with regional governments and environmental organisations, and has a positive impact on the conservation of endangered bird species and their habitats, minimising impacts on the natural capital of the territories in which power transmission lines are present.
The project has already been completed in the Balearic Islands and is available to the various local administrations which may use it as a tool for environmental evaluation and assessment of new electricity infrastructure projects.
Thanks to the collaboration and documentation provided by the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Territory of the Balearic Islands’ Government 14 bird species likely to be affected by electricity lines have been identified and a digital map on the location of each species has been prepared, including a categorisation of the areas and levels of presence of each one of them.
The ‘Mapping of bird flight paths’ project received an award in the Spanish section of the European Business Awards for the Environment 2014 in the ‘Business and Biodiversity’ category, convened by the General Directorate for the Environment of the European Commission and that recognise those companies that stand out for their environmental behaviour.
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