The report identifies the "main pressures and impacts placed on biodiversity by OWE and associated grids and the main monitoring methods and protocols used". Based on these observations and their assessment, the report formulates recommendations for the "minimum biodiversity monitoring required".
Some of the key findings of the study are the following:
- Adopt common core indicators: Standardised data, indicators and monitoring protocols are vital building blocks towards a better protection of marine wildlife when planning and operating offshore wind sites.
- Use harmonised monitoring methods: Data sharing and collaboration are fundamental to better practices at every level.
- Adopt a set of key monitoring principles and approaches and harmonise technology usage: Fit-for-purpose monitoring programmes foster mutual learning and streamlined research.
- Conduct research: Research efforts should center around testing new technologies to improve monitoring focus and effectiveness.
- Enhance regional and sectorial collaboration for data-driven decision-making and improvement of biodiversity protection in the offshore wind energy sector.
Author Dr PJ Stephenson is an independent conservation and sustainability consultant, chair of the IUCN SSC Species Monitoring Specialist Group and a research fellow at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
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