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endangered macaw vs. wind farm

An endangered Lear's macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) flies over a reserve near the Canudos Biological Station, close to the Canudos
An endangered Lear’s macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) flies over a reserve close to the Canudos Organic Station, near the Canudos Wind Power Advanced in Canudos, Bahia state, Brazil, on Could 5, 2023.

A wind farm in northeastern Brazil appears like a welcome climate-friendly vitality answer, however it’s inflicting controversy over one other type of environmental fear: the impression on the endangered Lear’s macaw.

House to greater than 90 p.c of Brazil’s booming wind-power trade, the northeast is thought for robust, regular winds that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva desires to harness to energy a green-energy revolution.

The area has drawn the curiosity of French renewable vitality firm Voltalia, which broke floor final 12 months on a 28-turbine, 100-megawatt wind farm in semi-arid Canudos county, within the state of Bahia.

However the challenge quickly got here underneath assault when it emerged that the big generators, with their 120-meter (practically 400-foot) diameter blades—a identified risk to birds in flight—have been being in-built a nesting area for the Lear’s macaw, a vibrant blue parrot also called the indigo macaw, or by its scientific title Anodorhynchus leari.

Named for Nineteenth-century English poet Edward Lear, the birds have dwindled to an estimated inhabitants of not more than 2,000 within the wild, as farming and logging have vastly decreased their habitat.

The wind farm is “very dangerous,” mentioned Marlene Reis, of the Lear’s Macaw Gardens Challenge, a company making an attempt to save lots of the species.

The Canudos Wind Energy Complex is one of many wind projects in Brazil's northeast, where energy and conservation demands can be
The Canudos Wind Power Advanced is one in every of many wind initiatives in Brazil’s northeast, the place vitality and conservation calls for may be at odds.

“It might significantly improve the danger of extinction,” she informed AFP.

And the injury “might be irreversible, particularly for these iconic macaws, who solely stay and reproduce on this area.”

A federal court docket halted the ultimate stage of building on the generators in April, revoking Voltalia’s permits.

“It can’t be thought of a low environmental impression” challenge, given the proximity to an endangered fowl species, the court docket dominated, ordering additional impression research and consultations with native communities.

Voltalia has appealed the choice.

“The potential environmental and social impacts have already been handled exhaustively,” Voltalia’s nation supervisor for Brazil, Nicolas Thouverez, informed AFP.

The impression research required by state authorities have proven the generators “on no account endanger the conservation” of the Lear’s macaw, he mentioned.

A Lear's macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) was electrocuted after flying into a power grid close to Brazil's Canudos Wind Energy Compl
A Lear’s macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) was electrocuted after flying into an influence grid near Brazil’s Canudos Wind Power Advanced.

“They demonstrated the environmental viability of the challenge.”

The corporate has proposed lowering dangers by portray the generators to make them extra seen to birds, in addition to becoming the macaws with GPS trackers and putting in expertise that instantly stops the blades turning once they fly over.

‘The title of progress’

Brazil is a world chief on inexperienced vitality.

It has the most important proportion of fresh electrical energy within the G20 group of countries, at 89 p.c.

Lula, who took workplace in January, has vowed to increase that additional nonetheless.

Mines and Power Minister Alexandre Silveira mentioned not too long ago that Lula desires to show Brazil’s impoverished northeast into the “greatest renewable vitality breadbasket on the planet.”

Silveira has introduced plans to put in as much as 30 gigawatts of fresh vitality manufacturing capability within the northeast, primarily wind and photo voltaic.

  • A truck transports parts of a wind turbine on the way to the Canudos Wind Energy Complex in Canudos, Bahia state, Brazil, on May
    A truck transports elements of a wind turbine on the way in which to the Canudos Wind Power Advanced in Canudos, Bahia state, Brazil, on Could 6, 2023.
  • Brazilian goat farmer Adelson Matos says the building of a wind farm nearby has drawn vehicle traffic at all hours, and has alte
    Brazilian goat farmer Adelson Matos says the constructing of a wind farm close by has drawn car site visitors in any respect hours, and has altered rain and wind patterns with its monumental constructions.

The overall funding might attain 120 billion reais ($24 billion).

However Voltalia presents a case research of the type of opposition initiatives can run into on the bottom.

Along with the outcry over the Lear’s macaw, the corporate faces resistance from small-scale communal farmers and cattle ranchers, round 7,500 of whom stay within the space across the wind farm.

“The impression will likely be felt throughout the board,” mentioned Adelson Matos, 65, a white-bearded farmer who tends to goats, sheep, cows, chickens and fruit within the close by village of Alto Redondo.

The wind farm is noisy, attracts car site visitors in any respect hours, and has altered rain and wind patterns with its monumental constructions, Matos complained.

“It breaks all concord with the pure habitat,” he informed AFP.

“All within the title of progress,” he mentioned bitterly.

© 2023 AFP

Brazil faces dilemma: endangered macaw vs. wind farm (2023, Could 23)
retrieved 23 Could 2023

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