Last week Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority organized an international conference "DANUBE FREE SKY" (16.-18. September 2019).
The Danube is a flyway for bird migration of European importance. While the Danube Protected Areas preserve the most valuable sites, power lines are dangerous barriers.
On the first day of the conference after introduction, keynote speeches were held:
- DAN HULEA (Executive Director of the Romanian Ornithological Society): Bird Conservation at lines in Romania and along the Danube - possible synergies with DANUBE FREE SKY
- ALEXANDRU DOROSENCU (Danube Delta National Institute): The DANUBE FREE SKY Position Paper - Collision
- REMO PROBST (BirdLife Austria): The DANUBE FREE SKY Position Paper - Electrocution
After presentations, a field trip in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve was organized, including a site visit to critical power lines in the Delta to promote follow-up conservation actions. On the boat, best practice conservation actions along the Danube were presented with space for discussion.
On the second day of conference focus was on a discussion about DANUBE FREE SKY as good practice for Europe (from raised awareness to common standards):
- TAMAS PAPP (Milvus Group): Bird Species Conservation at power lines - LIFE project for European Roller,
- BEN JOBSON (BirdLife International, Science Research Assistant, Cambridge): Ongoing initiatives, outlook and possible fields of cooperation.
Also, reports from power lines operators from Upper, Middle, and Lower Danube were presented about the status quo, to do's and possible joint future cooperation.
At the end of the conference, Lucia Deutschova (Raptor Protection of Slovakia), Ion Munteanu (DDBRA Executive Director, Natural Heritage, Ecological Education, and International Relations Department) and Georg Frank (DANUBEPARKS Secretary General) presented conclusions of the conference with main focus on:
- Success and challenges for bird conservation at power lines in Europe and along the Danube.
- Lessons learned from Life Energy and the Carpathians.
- DANUBE FREE SKY Strategies and future recommendations for the Danube Region.