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French National Avifauna Committee created.

Source: RTE 17/02/2004

To share responsibility for France's skies, RTE, EDF, FNE and LPO have set up a National Avifauna Committee.

On Thursday 5th February, Réseau de Transport d'Electricité (RTE), Electricité de France (EDF), the federation France Nature Environnement (FNE) and the French Bird Protection League (LPO) signed a convention, officially creating the National Avifauna Committee (CNA). The aim of this consultation body is to protect the biodiversity of the country's bird life. Its task will be to direct bird protection efforts towards the most effective areas for action:

1) Conducting cartographic studies of specific zones that are sensitive for avifauna, in order to identify the sections of electrical installations where efforts should be concentrated.

2) Using poles or pylons to place nesting boxes, with a key conservation project aimed at protecting the lesser kestrel, of which there are less than 100 mating pairs in France.

3) Respecting bird life near power lines, for example by avoiding pruning during the mating season for protected species.

4) Promoting exchanges of "best practices" between EDF, RTE and naturalists' networks, both regionally and locally. For example, drawing up inventories of bird of prey nests on electrical installations and increasing maintenance technicians' awareness are "best practices" that can help prevent nests from being destroyed.

5) Introducing a Europe-wide aspect to certain common actions via programmes such as INTERREG (1) and LIFE (2).

6) Drawing up a yearly report on the way the convention has been applied.

The quality of bird life is an essential indicator of the health of the environment. Electrical installations are not a major factor in mortality rates for many birds, but they can present a significant threat for some already endangered species (vultures and Bonelli's eagle). The partners of this convention are fully expecting to see a reduction in the impact of electrical installations on avifauna.

(1) transversal programmes developed by several European regions to deal with environmental and socio-economic issues.
(2) operational tools for developing methodological and ground-breaking conservation initiatives.

Press contacts:
Michel DERDEVET: +33 (0)141 021 973
Thierry LARTIGAU: +33 (0)141 021 678