In Rabat, the HCEFLCD and IUCN-Med organized a training workshop on 14 and 15 May 2018 on the identification and mitigation of the impact of electricity infrastructure on birdlife. On the sidelines of the event, an agreement was signed between the HCEFLCD and the European Foundation for Conservation and Falconry (EFFC). The AMFCR, within the framework of this convention, will play the role of relay between the 2 signatories
Since 2015, the Office of the High Commissioner for Water and Forests and Combating Desertification (HCEFLCD), in collaboration with the IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) and other partners in the region, have been developing knowledge transfer activities related to the conservation of endangered raptors between technicians and managers from both shores of the Mediterranean. In this context, and following the roadmap agreed in previous seminars, the HCEFLCD and IUCN-Med organized a training workshop on 14-15 May in Rabat on the identification and mitigation of the impact of electric infrastructures on the avifauna.
The main objective of this workshop – which follows the workshop organized on April 19 and 20, 2017 – is to promote the exchange and transfer of knowledge and experience gained about the identification, adaptation and correction of dangerous power lines for birds. The workshop brought together 34 participants including representatives and staff of HCEFLCD, ONEE, members of NGOs involved in the conservation of birds of Morocco and in the energy sector (ENDESA).
The workshop is part of an initiative promoted by the IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation to reduce the threat of death of raptors by electrocution or collision with energy infrastructure in North Africa , in collaboration with governments and electricity companies, and with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Mava Foundation.
During the workshop, the participants recognized the importance of the problem in Morocco, the role of each actor and the need for collaboration and multisectoral work to advance in the implementation of solutions and a strategic plan in Morocco. National level. The discussions of the working groups show that, at the Moroccan level, there is the will to move in this direction.
At the technical level, the speakers showed the importance of taking actions to protect the avifauna in Morocco and the existence of solutions. Effective devices to reduce or neutralize the danger of power lines and associated structures already exist, to prevent birds from colliding with them or being electrocuted. Participants also appreciated the presentation of methods for the characterization of power lines, for the development of a risk map and for the prioritization of actions to be carried out.
At the level of the organization and the training experts, the commitment and the total availability for any collaboration on this subject were reiterated.
The commitment of the participants to work together to put into practice the priority actions identified during the workshop is a very important step. The Office of the High Commissioner for Water and Forests is already working on the official agreement with ONEE for the identification and correction of black spots. The role of involved NGOs and scientists in characterizing important areas for birdlife and risk areas has been recognized, as well as the need for training for this. ONEE will facilitate information on electrical infrastructures and will work on the characterization and exhaustive inventory of towers, which will help complete the identification guide for dangerous lines in preparation. This guide, once completed, will serve as a training tool and work at the company. With regard to the construction of new power lines, ONEE representatives agree with the need to take into account the impact on birdlife and count on the technical and economic capacity to do so.
The most urgent action reported was the correction of the only black spot identified so far, in Guelmin (southwestern Morocco), which will serve as a pilot experiment. All actors are committed to working to solve the problem. The ONEE regional division will be contacted and informed of the situation and the representatives of the corrective device manufacturer in the workshop are committed to facilitating and installing the necessary equipment. An urgent action plan must be developed for the implementation of this correction.