REN has signed a partnership agreement with LIFE Elia for Southern Europe, which seeks to promote and implement the creation of green corridors in forests through which REN power lines cross.
The partnership aims to make the most of both organisations' knowledge of vegetation management under overhead power lines. REN and LIFE Elia will share information about planning, establishing agreements with landowners, strategies and techniques for reforestation and the restoration of ecosystems, planning medium- and long-term vegetation management and publicising good practice in the sector. This is of special significance while the debate about climate change and the sustainability of alternative energy sources is gaining national and international importance.
REN will use its experience on the ground to contribute to LIFE Elias's reference manual on 'vegetation management under overhead power lines'. Sharing REN's good practice and experience will be of particular importance in preparing chapters dedicated to the Mediterranean region, particularly on the risk of forest fires, quick growing species and controlling invasive alien species.
REN and LIFE Elias will also establish an agenda for the creation of local pilot schemes in Portugal where the implementation of this project will be tested.
Dedicated to creating green corridors under overhead power lines, the LIFE Elia project was established in 2011 with financial support from the European Commission, ELIA (Belgian Electricity Transmission System Operator), RTE (French Electricity Transmission System Operator) and the Walloon Region. The project is led by a team from two NGOs, and its aim is to create and promote innovative actions that will enhance biodiversity and raise awareness of natural habitats and species linked to this particular context.
According to Gérard Jadoul, Coordinator of LIFE Elia, 'it is precious for our project to have support from REN. Besides the know-how linked to REN's experiences of biodiversity orientated vegetation management, their expertise on Mediterranean habitats and the challenges associated will be of great help when building up a best practice document at European level.'
João Conceição, Executive Director of REN, said 'this partnership is part of REN's sustainability policy and reflects our concern with managing the environmental impact of our infrastructure on ecosystems. REN has developed a close working relationship with local authorities and local communities, and we believe sharing good practices and concerted action at local, national and international levels will bring great benefits to all involved. This agreement is just one more example of our commitment.'