04 February 2021

REN’s Chair launches Guide with measures for monitoring the impact of power transmission lines on biodiversity

REN's Chair on Biodiversity developed a Guide defining the appropriate practices for monitoring the impacts of Power Transmission Lines on birdlife and evaluating the measures used to minimise them. This document is the result of five years of work by researchers from CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources of the University of Porto), in partnership with ICNF - Instituto de Conservação da Natureza e Florestas (Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests), on the impact of power lines on biodiversity, and was financed by REN and FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology).

The guide is mainly aimed at all entities involved in the post-assessment phase of projects subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or Environmental Incidence Assessment and, in particular, at environmental consultants. In Portugal, the licencing of Very High Voltage Power Lines (LMAT - Linhas elétricas de Muito Alta Tensão) is subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a process in which the impacts foreseen in the Environmental Impact Study and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures adopted must be assessed through the implementation of a monitoring programme, in the operation phase of new LMATs.

This guide integrates the most recent scientific information compiled and developed by REN's Chair on Biodiversity, as well as the remaining scientific knowledge available in this field, and its content has been validated by ICNF and by REN. As a methodological guide, it defines the guidelines for correctly assessing the impacts of LMATs on birdlife in the post-assessment phase, as well as the effectiveness of the corresponding mitigation measures, the most common being the marking of cables with collision avoidance devices. The document also defines the general rules for the implementation of compensatory measures in situations in which the impacts cannot be minimised.

According to Francisco Moreira, coordinator of REN's Chair on Biodiversity, 'this was a perfect demonstration of what we call applied ecology, using the latest scientific knowledge and transferring it to the implementation of practices more suitable for monitoring environmental impacts'.

For Francisco Parada, head of Quality, Environment and Safety at REN, 'this guide is the result of extensive scientific research carried out over the last few years, through which a tool that will enable greater efficiency in protecting biodiversity is made available. REN's Chair on Biodiversity programme reveals that partnerships between players from different areas are fundamental in the transfer of knowledge, and take on a central role in areas related to environmental sustainability.'

Launched in 2015 in a partnership between REN, FCT and the University of Porto, REN's Chair on Biodiversity, developed by CIBIO, promotes scientific research focused on making decisions that promote better results in managing impacts on Biodiversity. | See the Guide here (Portuguese version)

About CIBIO: 

CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources) is a research centre of the University of Porto that integrates several research groups and scientific services, and is dedicated to the development of scientific projects, research and innovation in the areas of Biodiversity, Genetic Resources and Ecology, and in the three main components of biodiversity: genes, species and ecosystems. CIBIO's mission is to develop basic and applied research, provide advanced training, contribute to the dissemination of scientific culture, and provide support to business and government entities in defining strategies and tools that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. further information at https://cibio.up.pt/


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