27 June 2019

REN Biodiversity chair at Porto University recognised in international award

The Biodiversity Chair at University of Porto, which is coordinated by CIBIO-InBIO and funded by REN, has been recognised as one of the best environmental protection initiatives in the 2019 International RGI Good Practice of the Year award.

Coordinated by CIBIO-InBIO, the REN Biodiversity Chair is the fruit of collaboration between the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) and the University of Porto (U.Porto). Its main goal is to promote teaching, research and scientific dissemination that will help to minimise the negative effects of electricity infrastructure on biodiversity and leverage possible positive impacts. Recognition of the REN Biodiversity Chair in the 2019 Good Practice of the Year Award followed a candidacy submitted by REN, which was considered one of the three best development initiatives in energy networks in the Environmental Protection category.

Good practices for a sustainable future
European Union Member States mare committed to the transition from fossil energy to renewable sources so as to significantly reduce carbon emissions, meet climate change agreement targets and achieve a more sustainable future. The development and modernisation of energy transmission and distribution networks are essential if we are to achieve this transition. 

This is why the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), an international collaboration of non-governmental environmental organisations and companies managing European energy infrastructures, organises an annual award aimed at highlighting and encouraging projects involving the development of energy distribution networks. The awards are for initiatives using good practices in the areas of communication, technological innovation and environmental protection. 

Energy infrastructure and biodiversity 
The 2019 Good Practice of the Year award ceremony, which took place during the Energy Infrastructure Forum in Copenhagen, included not only the winners in each category but also recognition of the most prominent candidates. The REN Biodiversity Chair, which is coordinated by CIBIO-InBIO, ranked among the three best initiatives in the environmental protection category. 

Francisco Moreira, a CIBIO-InBIO researcher and the incumbent of the Chair, said, 'It is certainly very positive and gratifying for CIBIO-InBIO and REN to receive such recognition. Above all, it stresses the Chair's important role in bringing biodiversity to the discussion on the energy sector, sustainability and society.'

Rodrigo Costa, President of REN, states that 'it is with great satisfaction that we recognize the work carried out within the scope of REN´s Biodiversity Chair, a particularly relevant recognition, since it highlights environmental protection initiatives promoted in the framework of the development of energy networks. This is another demonstration of the value generated by our close relationship with the academy and the investment we make in research and generation of knowledge. '

The REN Biodiversity Chair promotes scientific research focused on decision-making that promotes better results in the management of impacts on biodiversity. The scientific research conducted by the Chair's team includes evaluation of bird populations and mortality associated with the energy distribution network and studies of the breeding of storks that build their nests on electricity pylons.

The REN Biodiversity Chair is designed not only to further scientific knowledge in the field of biodiversity, but also to promote proximity between universities and businesses by transferring knowledge and supporting the implementation of cost-effective practices to minimise and offset negative impacts.

For more information about the Renewables Grid Initiative 2019 Good Practice of the Year award:

'Award Good Practice of the Year 2019''


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