Under the patronage of H.E Dr. Nazira Farah Sarkis, Minister of State for Environment Affairs-(MSEA) and with positive coordination with the Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife-SSCW and in collaboration with MSB project, a celebration event was held commemorating the World Migratory Birds Day-WMBD-2015, under the theme "Energy - Make it Bird- friendly" at the National Museum Hall in Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic on May, 11th, 2015.
80 participant representatives of concerned government parties(Ministry of State for Environment Affairs (MSEA), Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (MAAR), Ministry of Electricity, Renewable Energy National Center and the Syrian investment committee ,Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Higher Education,), in addition to local community representatives and SSCW members.
After the formal introduction session to the workshop, the Syrian national anthem and welcoming keynote speeches by Minister of MSEA, and SSCW representative, Dr. Mouaina Badran and MSB regional coordinator, the second session started with presentations focused on Renewable Energy in Syria and the future prospects, as follows:
- National Strategy & Plans for Renewable Energy by specialist of National Energy Centre-Ministry of Electricity. He explained the Syrian strategy and plans for using these new energy resources and projects.
- The environment laws & regulations for energy projects in Syria by specialist of MSEA, who presented the laws and legislations and procedures relating to renewable energy projects and the controls for protecting biodiversity and natural resources.
- Suggested sites to establish Renewable Energy Projects on the Syrian Investment Map by specialist of Syrian Investment Committee, who showed suggested sites for renewable energy projects sites in the country.
The third Session started with presentations on Energy Projects & Birds as follows:
-The Potential risks to migratory birds from energy establishments along the flyway: adopting The Sensitivity Mapping Tool for such establishments: Data Usage and Management by Regional Coordinator-Birdlife International. He explained in details the risks and potential risks of the renewable on migratory birds and especially in their flyways which birds use twice a year and explained the mapping tool when establishing such projects and installations.
-The regional Guidance on Birds & wind farms by SSCW member. He presented in identification, advantages and disadvantages of wind farms establishment and their risks as well as procedures to reduce and avoid such risks. He also presented some information about wind energy uses in the country and site for establishing wind farms.
-The regional Guidance on Birds & Power Lines by specialist of National Energy Centre -Ministry of Electricity. He explained the international standards and criteria for establishing high and medium tension power lines, advantages and disadvantages of power lines and cables and safety procedures.
-The regional Guidance on Birds & Solar farms by SSCW member, who explained potential risks of establishment of solar energy farms on migratory birds how to mitigate or prevent them.
-The International Financial Institutions & Birds’ considerations in the energy sector by Regional Coordinator- BirdLife International. He talked in details about international supporters for renewable energy projects and biodiversity and migratory birds protection considerations.
Discussions & recommendations:
Final discussions included all issues and topics presented during the event. Participants focused during their deliberations on the need to protect migratory birds in special and biodiversity in general in all kinds of energy resources establishments with confirmation on renewable energy projects to mitigate or prevent real and potential risks of these projects on migratory birds and biodiversity as well as on awareness and education.
-Support of international and regional organizations to carry out studies and research on the migratory birds flyways and their protection.
-Capacity building of national cadre and staff working on biodiversity, birds conservation and also cadre of national energy projects in order to become well qualified in all aspects of making energy biodiversity, bird and nature friendly.
- Recommendation to Decision makers, governmental institutions, ministries and relating committees not to endorse their approval to renewable energy projects if migratory birds’ protection rules in particular and biodiversity in general are not included in these projects and establishments.
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