THE RSPB MUST TAKE URGENT ACTION! sign now

Call for a Moratorium on Proposals to site Wind Farms in Sensitive Areas

(For signatories: in signing this you accept that this petition will be copied to the following agencies: UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Countryside Agency, Countryside Council for Wales, English Nature, Environment and Heritage Service Northern Ireland, Scottish Executive, Scottish Natural Heritage. This bracketed text will be removed before the petition is printed and posted.)

We welcome the concern that the RSPB has demonstrated, and the many objections it has lodged, about proposals for the erection of wind farms in areas where significant bird and other wildlife populations and habitats are likely to be adversely affected. We also support the aim to increase the usage of a broad mix of effective forms of renewable energy, offering long-term potential for the production of clean energy with minimal impact on the environment. However, on the issue of wind farms, it is our view that the RSPB should initiate urgent action in order to wholly fulfil its traditional and primary objective of the protection of birds.

The RSPBs stance on the core of the windfarm debate does not go far enough. Evidence collected from various sites over the years, including Altamont in the USA, and in Spain, confirms that poorly sited wind farms can have severe to fatal consequences for birds and other wildlife, through collision with turbines, habitat degradation or population disturbance. The latest disturbing news of mortality and displacement of White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) at Smшla in Norway has, as stated by the RSPB, increased fears that wind farms in Britain could take a similar toll on native and migrating wild birds. This makes it even more important to examine the cumulative effect on certain bird species, such as the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in Scotland, where the sustainability of the population could be adversely affected without this being apparent from population count alone.

We believe that the Precautionary Principle should be applied with full rigour to all wind farm proposals on habitat of threatened bird (Schedule I or Annex I) species or other wildlife. These include, but are not restricted to, all existing or proposed SSSIs, SPAs and RAMSAR sites. The latter are afforded special protection under UK and European law, which must be complied with unequivocally.

In view of the increasing number of wind farm applications, which present planning and review authorities with an immense administrative burden and consequently increases the risk of rubber-stamping, an immediate moratorium on all sensitively sited windfarm proposals in the United Kingdom should be imposed. This moratorium should remain in place until a strategic approach to applications and planning procedures is in place. Particular attention should be paid to vulnerable species such as large raptors, as well as other forms of wildlife where the sustainability of national or global populations is at risk.

Wind farm applications which present a significant threat to wildlife must be considered as unacceptable and consequently rejected. We therefore call on the RSPB to initiate and promote such a moratorium on all wind farm development on sensitive habitat of endangered birds and other wildlife.

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Latoya KeithBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
Petition target:
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

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