The wind power plant threatening hanging Lear’s macaw


Last week, a Brazilian federal judge suspended all licenses previously granted to energy company Voltalia to build a wind farm in the habitat of the endangered Lear’s macaw in northeast Brazil. . In his decision, the judge said these licenses cannot be granted until the environmental impact studies and environmental impact reports required by law have been completed and hearings public did not take place. Meanwhile, construction on the project has been underway for several months, creating a collision hazard for birds flying in the area.

“We applaud the judge’s decision and hope it will lead to the relocation of the project away from Lear’s macaw habitat,” said Amy Upgren, director of the Alliance for Zero Extinction at the American Bird Conservancy.

The move was prompted by a lawsuit filed by federal and state prosecutors in Brazil last month, which claimed that the project’s licenses should be revoked because Voltalia illegally proceeded without an environmental impact assessment. Local communities have also voiced their opposition to the wind project, most recently in December 2022 in a formal complaint to the United Nations.

Renewable energies are of vital importance in the fight against climate change. ABC advocates for renewables to be placed in areas where threats to birds are minimized.

The area where wind turbines are being built is officially recognized for its environmental significance as a Key Biodiversity Area and site of the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE). With Brazilian partners, ABC has supported successful efforts to conserve Lear’s Macaw in the region for decades, including the expansion of the Canudos Biological Station Reserve, which provides protected habitat for the species. The Voltalia wind project poses a serious threat to years of progress towards saving this species from extinction. The recent decision is a hopeful sign that Lear’s macaw will be able to continue on its path to recovery.

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