(The conservation staff members of BirdLife South Africa have been hard at work over the last week, Mark Anderson reports. - Ed.)
BIRDS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
Hanneline Smit-Robinson, Carolyn Ah-Shene-Verdoorn and David Allan (technical advisor to BirdLife South Africa) attended a meeting with the Lesotho government and the consultants and applicant of the proposed Letseng wind farm, Lesotho. Letseng is the first proposed wind energy facility in Lesotho and the placement of this farm could have significant negative impacts on the populations of Bearded and Cape Vultures. BirdLife South Africa and representatives of Ezemvelo KZN wildlife asked the developer to consider an alternative site where the impacts on birds would be minimised. Sam Ralston commented on the interim monitoring report for the proposed Kangnas Wind Farm near Springbok in the Northern Cape. Sam drafted a short case study on wind energy in Lesotho for the BirdLife Africa Partnership’s first State of Africa’s Birds (SOAB) report. On Tuesday Sam Ralston met with Duncan Ayling and Uri Epstein from SAWEA and Megan Diamond from EWT. On Wednesday Sam attended the first Expert Reference Group meeting for the National Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) for Wind and Solar Energy in Pretoria. The purpose of the SEA is to identify areas in South Africa where the development of wind and solar energy will be encouraged. For more information go to: www.csir.co.za/nationalwindsolarsea/. While in Johannesburg, Sam and Hanneline Smit-Robinson met with Candice Gilbert, from Investec Capital Markets, who fund BirdLife South Africa’s work on birds and renewable energy.