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CAIRO – 10 October 2022: The mortality rate of the migratory birds monitored during their fly over Egypt’s wind power farms recorded 1 percent of the entire variety of observed birds annually, said Egyptian Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad.


This was driven by the measures adopted by the Ministry of Evironment and the state-owned renewable energy authority to guard migratory birds in Egypt, where about 2 million birds fly over the country of their migration journeys to warmer destinations, especially in the autumn and the winter.


“No country the world over could reach zero mortality of birds within the presence of wind power stations,” the minister said in comments to Egypt Today on the sidelines of a regional conference on “Secure Flyways: Conference on Energy and Birds,” on Saturday, which also marks the World Day of Migratory Birds.


Without the ministry’s protection measures, the speed of bird mortality could have reached 30 percent along the Red Sea attributable to the presence of wind power farms, in keeping with the minister.


“Egypt was awarded the primary African prize 3 years ago for safeguarding the flyways from Upper Egypt’s Aswan to the Red Sea,” said the minister.


On an identical note, Osama el-Gebaly, the top of the Migartory Soaring Birds project on the Ministry of Environment, told Egypt Today that Egypt monitors about 500,000 to 600,000 migratory birds flying over renewable power plants annually, noting that the most important monitored variety of carcasses reached 50 birds per 12 months.


Moreover, Ayman Hamada, head of the Biodiversity Central Department on the Ministry of Environment, affirmed to Egypt Today on the sidelines of the conference that the monitoring process is being conducted all day long, however the variety of swarms that fly over Egypt at night might be higher.


“The difficulty of protecting migratory birds and biodiversity is probably the most pressing global and regional environmental challenges that Egypt is keen to handle throughout the Cop27 conference, because it also reflects the interdependence in achieving balance between environmental conventions on biodiversity and the state’s national plan to handle the consequences of climate change and emissions reduction,” the minister further stated.


Minister Fouad added that bird migration faces numerous other challenges, akin to poaching, tourism and solid waste. To raised address these issues, the ministry cooperated with the tourism sector to coach the sector’s employees on the importance of protecting the migratory birds, and recognizing the bird-watching tourism as a source of income. The minister also revealed that the COP 27 conference, set to convene in Sharm El-Sheikh on November 6-18, shall be some extent for watching birds.


As for the solid waste, the ministry was keen to offer a really clean and protected flyway for the migratory birds to alleviate these challenges.


How is Egypt working on migratory bird protection?


“The Red Sea flyway is the second essential route for migratory birds, and the establishment of any wind power farm could have caused higher numbers of deaths among the many birds attributable to collision or electrocution,” said Osama el-Gebaly, the top of the Migartory Soaring Birds project on the Ministry of Environment.


Gebaly added that an integrated cooperation with the energy sector was a must to ascertain the wind power farms needed for development and protect the environment at the identical time. To realize this goal, the ministry has put protective environmental guidelines for the energy sector in 2013, updated the criterion of shutdown-on-demand of wind turbines for migrating birds, and created training programs on bird protection for the energy sector’s employees.


In keeping with Gebaly, the ministry deployed two radars at Gabel El-Zeit Wind farm complex within the Suez Gulf to cover three wind power stations. The radar gives a previous warning signal of coming birds to observers on the station’s control room, who in turn respond with shutting down some turbines for a brief time frame until the birds pass safely.


“The radar and the shutdown-on-demand solution were used for the primary time in 2015 at Gabal El-Zeit wind farm in cooperation with a Portuguese company, stated Ihab Ismail, vice chairman for Research Technical Affairs Recent and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), in his speech on the conference. He also said that it took 3 whole minutes to stop the turbines to start with of the project, while it only takes 15 seconds now, because of all of the practice and exertions.


Ismail clarified that the west coast of the Suez Gulf, especially Ras Ghareb, was an acceptable place for establishing wind plants attributable to its constant, high-speed winds, which ends up in high production. To profit from this location while preserving the environment, radars were used to observe the birds 10 kilometers away from the wind turbine. “Those that are working on the radar system are being mandated to other Arab countries to transfer their experiences,” Ismail continued.


Ismail told Egypt Today that protecting migrating birds has a negligible impact on electricity production, stressing that it is a success when it comes to preserving the environment, and optimizing the advantages of renewable energy.


Recently, the ministry updated its guidelines and really useful putting sensors on the turbines of wind power farms to raised monitor the moves of migratory birds and robotically shut down. These recommendations were discussed by the ministry and the BirdLife International, in keeping with Minister Fouad, who also noted that this latest technology would allow establishing wind turbines at great heights, consequently providing high-quality production.



Expanding protection scope across the region


On World Migratory Bird Day that falls on October 8, the BirdLife International signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Arab Union of Electricity and the Arab Renewable Energy Commission, under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment on Saturday.


The signing ceremony was organized by the BirdLife international on the sidelines of a regional conference “to make sure closer ties and mutual understanding between the energy industry and the conservation community along the African-Eurasian Flyway towards a win-win relationship between nature conservations and energy infrastructures along the flyway,” said the ministry.


Birdlife international is a partner with the Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE) and the Migratory Soaring Birds Project (MSB) on the Ministry of Environment. Several projects have been funded by international donors, akin to the Egyptian Vulture Recent LIFE project, which is funded by the European Union, in keeping with Director of the BirdLife International Middle East Office Ibrahim Khader.


“We hope that this conference is an entrance for more cooperation partners from private and public sectors, to guard nature on the domestic and regional levels,” Khader added.


For his part, Nasser al-Mohannadi, secretary-general of Arab Union of Electricity, confirmed that the goals of this partnership is exchanging experiences and protecting the environment.


Meanwhile, Mohammed al-Ta’ani, the final manager of Jordanian Renewable Energy Society (JRES) and Secretary General of Arab Renewable Energy Commission (AREC), said in his speech that the quantity of investments in renewable energy within the Arab world will reach $1 trillion in 2040, and this figure is sort of big, so it’s required that every one NGOs be answerable for protecting the environment and the wild life and stopping encroachment.




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