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Biodiversity and Wind Farms in Portugal – Book Presentation

Last week, January 18, we gathered (with the support of Springer) some of the most renowned environmental specialists (both national and international) to present our book “Biodiversity and Wind Farms in Portugal”.

Our invited speakers were:

  • Johann Köppel, Professor and head of the Environmental Assessment and Planning Research Group of the Berlin Institute of Technology (Germany). Dr. Köppel presentation was titled: “Understanding the problem: wind energy and environmental problems” (read abstract);

  • Our own Joana Santos, Ecologist & Terrestrial Ecosystems Specialist,

talked about: “Assessing the problem | Three different visions (UK / PT / South Africa)” (read abstract);

  • Roël May, Senior Research Scientist at Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), presented us “Solutions for a sustainable management” (read abstract);

  • Sara Vieira, Head of Unit of APA - Portuguese Environment Agency, talked about “Wind farms in PT – the perception of authorities (APA)”.

  • António Sá da Costa, President of APREN – Portuguese Renewable Energy Association, and Vice President of EREF - European Renewable Energy Federation, brought us the theme: “Wind farms in PT – the perception of developers (APREN)”;

  • And, finally, Alvaro Cardenal Camiña, Environmental Specialist from the International Finance Corporation, presented: “Financial Institutions and Wind Farms”.

Following the points-of-view brought by this team of specialists, it was time for our book presentation.

“Biodiversity and Wind Farms in Portugal” presents a review of the state-of-the-art knowledge on the interactions between biodiversity and wind energy development, focused on the Portuguese reality. The volume addresses the particularities of the impact assessment procedures in Portugal, contrasting it with the international practices and presenting its main findings by covering the following broader themes:

i) evaluation of spatial and temporal dynamics of wildlife affected by wind farms, including birds, bats and terrestrial mammals (in particular the Portuguese wolf population);

ii) the methodologies used to assess impacts caused by this type of developments in biodiversity;

iii) the best practice methodologies to implement an adaptive management approach to reconcile biodiversity and wind farms.

The knowledge presented in this book was gathered through the research and development activities executed by Bioinsight company (former Bio3 company) during the last 13 years, and partially funded by the R&D project “Integrated solutions for biodiversity management at wind farms: reduce and compensate bird and bat mortality” (acronym: Wind & Biodiversity), co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER), under the Regional Operational Programme of Centre (Mais Centro).

This volume fills a void in the literature, giving insights on the best practices to install and manage a wind farm from a biodiversity management point of view, while establishing a commitment between economic sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

Miguel Mascarenhas, Bioinsight’s manager, was tasked with the honour of presenting “Biodiversity and Wind Farms in Portugal”.

It is worth to highlight some points brought to us by Miguel’s presentation. First, the book is the culmination of our company’s experience so far on the wind energy field, with 280 projects over the last 10 years. Our experience was a determining factor in Springer’s invitation to write this book.

It is also noteworthy that Bioinsight is not collecting any revenues with the sale of the book. We made this investement, with time commitment and human resources, because as “one of the shareholders, we need to inspire other people”, like other people inspire us. In Miguel’ words, “so that people can discuss, I think is important to put [our knowledge] in the open”, and this was the main motivation to accept this challenge.

The book itself is a repository of the work and knowledge of many people with a very rich background, and not only those who’s name is in each chapter. The experience of many people made it possible to explore several areas, regarding the balance between environment and wind farms.

Miguel ended his presentation with a challenge: to have other people read the book, criticise it, and write new books, continuously contributing to enrich our collective knowledge of the interactions between wind energy and biodiversity.

We count with your contribution to solidify this commitment between economic sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

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