Birds with large wing spans, such as storks and some birds of prey, can be at risk of electrocution on poorly-designed medium voltage power lines. Initiatives to reduce the risks in Hungary began in the 1980s. In 2008, with the lead of the Ministry of Environment and Water, all of the three electric utility companies, the Hungarian Transmission System Operator, private business companies (designers and suppliers) and MME/BirdLife Hungary signed the ‘Accessible Sky’ agreement to address this problem.
Under this agreement, MME developed a ‘bird electrocution conflict map’, showing the risks across Hungary for the most affected bird species. New measures to make power lines safe for birds are now prioritised more effectively. These measures are being part-financed by utilities with support from the EU LIFE+ programme and the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF).
This example shows the positive impact of enhanced cooperation between industry and NGOs for minimising bird mortality on electricity infrastructure. Better solutions are reached where stakeholders come together to share their expertise, and to prioritise and plan improvement works.