With production of renewable energy and associated infrastructure on the rise, the central government is going to fund mapping of hotspots where renewables might be a risk for migratory birds and their flyways in the future.
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), a non-government organisation, will prepare the first-of-its-kind dossier of these hotspots as part of a larger project which comprises of conservation of 79 sites (48 wetland sites and 31 land bird sites) across 17 states which are part of the Central Asian Flyway (CAF).
Flyways are areas used by groups of birds during their annual cycle, which includes breeding areas, stop-over areas and wintering areas. The CAF is one among nine crucial flyways for migratory birds and the national action plan on CAF conservation had identified 20 bird species for conservation in 2018.
The dossier, known as ‘bird sensitivity mapping’, will feed in as one of the tools used by the union ministry of environment, forest and climate change , its statutory bodies and expert panels while vetting projects for green clearances for renewable and other projects.
To begin with, mapping of areas in western region would be done. India has set itself a target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. Renewable infrastructure such as transmission, lines and windmills pose a grave threat to the flyways and paths of migratory birds as well as local species of birds.
The project in its entirety, including the conservation plan for flyways, will be three years long and will be launched at the ongoing 13th United Nations convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals, being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.