The three sub-sectors are:
The energy sector is a key component and driver of economic development for the region; requiring a large amount of infrastructure, both to generate the electricity and to transmit this to the end user and consumer through electrical power lines.
The need to diversify energy resources and the development of renewable energy farms, notably Solar and Wind is leading to major developments sometimes at sensitive locations within the Rift Valley/Red Sea flyway. A vast transmission line network to support this resource is also being planned, globally over 5 million kilometres of power lines proposed for construction in the next five years.
The MSB project believes that renewable sources of energy play a vital role in reducing the amount of greenhouses gases emitted into the atmosphere and supports the transition to a cleaner energy sector, away from fossil fuels. Climate change is recognised as posing the most serious threat to people and global biodiversity. Renewable energy can lead to increased energy security, reduced pollution, and help ensure energy access.
For renewable energy to be truly sustainable it has to ensure that consideration of birds and biodiversity is fully integrated into the energy sector and its developmental and operational processes.
Migratory Soaring Birds are at risk of collision with poorly sited developments such as wind turbines and power lines, as well as loss of habitat, barrier effects. There is an ongoing need to monitor the affect of energy developments on birds and biodiversity in general.
Danish wind energy association
The MSB project support the transition to renewable energy
What do we do?
The MSB project aims to promote and support the shift to renewable energy in the countries of the Rift Valley / Red Sea flyway. This shift to renewable sources of energy is vital to meet climate change targets and ensure sustainable development, however inappropriately place developments will have an impact on birds and biodiversity.
The project has focused on three specific sectors which we believe are key drivers of change and which should integrate bird and biodiversity concerns into their approaches. The objective is to make the flyway safer for migratory soaring birds through mainstreaming conservation considerations into these key energy sectors. By integrating bird and biodiversity concerns the adverse effects will be limited and development will deliver lasting sustainable development.
In order to reach this goal, MSB project is committed to working with a range of stakeholders who are involved in the energy sector, from other members of civil society, to utility companies and developers right through to governments and development banks and funding organisations. The MSB project has developed guidance material related to each of the sectors, for differing audiences which makes recommendations on ways to reduce the adverse impact on birds and biodiversity. Please click on the links above to find further information relevant to your sector of interest.
This guidance material will guide developers, planners, government agencies and civil society throughout the life cycle of a project, from the strategic phase and site selection, to assessment of potential impacts (e.g. habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, disturbance, collision risk etc.) and appropriate mitigation measures to post construction operation.
BirdLife International and the MSB project have also developed a Sensitivity Mapping tool, which can be used by all stakeholders to identify areas which are important for birds across the region and has a wind sensitivity layer which identifies areas which if, in particular wind energy developments did occur there would be a high risk to birds.
If you are involved in the energy sector in any of the 11 countries or in the region and would like to learn more about how the project might be of interest to you please contact us or any of our partners.
The Regional Flyway Facility (RFF) supports the work of MSB project partners by providing technical support, building capacity of sector stakeholders, raising awareness at a regional level and facilitating coordination and lesson learned exchange. The guidance material is available for download for all groups and further guidance on specific issues will be available in the future. If you would like to have more information on that please contact us.
Energy in the Rift Valley / Red Sea Flyway
The capacity for the generation of energy in the region is large, given the vast natural resources which are present in the region. The Rift Valley / Red Sea flyway covers an area which has a large potential for renewable energy projects, and a number of large scale projects are already in operation and many planned in the future. Governments across the region have committed renewable energy targets as part of their energy mix, Egypt has a 20% target by 2020, Lebanon 12% by 2020, Jordan 10% by 2020, Saudi Arabia 10% by 2020. These targets will result in the construction of more eneegy infrastructure across the landscape of the flyway.
Impacts on birds
The flyway is a globally important, it is the second most important flyway in the world. Each country within the flyway has a specific role to play in ensuring the flyway is sustained, impacts in one area can potentially have a significant affect along the flyway breaking the linkages within it. The energy sector is likely to have an impact on birds if they are inappropriately placed or fail to take account of birds and biodiversity in their operation. The potential impacts are likely to be related to risks resulting in death or injury, barrier and disturbance effects for migrating species and soaring birds which can affect both their condition and behavior and result in disturbance along the migratory route. Habitat can also be impacted by the development of the renewable infrastructure, which can affect resident species but also migratory soaring birds. Greater risks are associated with migratory bottle necks which have high concentrations of vulnerable species at specific times of the year. These risks can be minimized if appropriate actions and mitigation procedures are integrated into the energy sector.
MSB Guidance shutdown on demand
Review and guidance on use of “shutdown-on-demand” for wind turbines to conserve migrating soaring birds in the Rift Valley/Red Sea Flyway
Guidance on impact assessment of power grids on MSB
Guidance on appropriate means of impact assessment of electricity power grids on migratory soaring birds in the Rift Valley / Red Sea Flyway