Middle East
28 May 2020

Egyptian government signs landmark agreement to safeguard migratory birds

Egyptian Vulture © Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency
By Osama El-Gebaly

This April saw a major conservation milestone for migratory birds in Egypt.  The Migratory Soaring Birds Project (run by the Ministry of the Environment) signed a protocol of cooperation with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). The project aims to facilitate collaboration between the EEAA and EETC, ensuring that migratory bird conservation and wider biodiversity is considered in all of the EETC’s plans for power stations and power lines.

The project, managed by the EEAA, is implemented by Birdlife International and funded by the United Nations Development Program / Global Environment Facility. The first step will be for EEAA and the EETC to draft selection criteria for consultants who will conduct environmental Impact Assessment on EETC’s power station and power lines projects. These assessments will be made in accordance with the Egyptian environmental guidelines and the requirements of the various funding agencies.

This step is a major shift towards making renewable energy safe for migratory birds – either by modifying existing structures located in bird migration paths, or deciding at the planning stage to build them in less hazardous locations. This milestone is part of the Ministry of Environment’s growing enthusiasm to cooperate with the key partners in the field of sustainable development at the national and international level, in order to define environmental policies, priorities and initiatives.