Experts from 13 countries declare their concern on the planned installation of wind farms in one of the world's biggest colonies of the Eleonora’s falcon
In a joint letter, made public a few days ago, 27 top experts on the study and conservation of the Eleonora’s Falcon from 13 countries, declare their serious concern on the planned installation of six wind power stations (wind farms of 58 turbines and installed capacity of 300 MW) on Mount Kochylas in the south part of the Greek island of Skyros.
The 27 scientists and conservationists, representing internationally renowned academic institutions and conservation organizations, consider the implementation of the wind farm project to be detrimental for the conservation of the local Eleonora’s falcon colony, as well as incompatible with the status of the area as a NATURA 2000 site (Special Conservation Area), designated as such due to its significance for Eleonora’s falcon.
Kochylas is known to host one of the biggest colonies of Eleonora’s falcons in the world and hence, Greece has a responsibility to the rest of the world to preserve and protect the emblematic falcon of the Mediterranean. However, the experts underline the fact that the proposed planning lies in the very heart of the species’ principal foraging field and in very close proximity with their breeding grounds.
So far, the recipients of the joint letter include the Greek Ministry of Environment (e.g. the entity responsible for issuing a permit for this project), EU’s DG Environment as well as CINEA, the agency that oversees the implementation of programmes that support the goals of the EU Green Deal, including the LIFE programs. In the past 15 years, a total of 3 LIFE Programs have been implemented in Skyros, all aiming at the conservation of the island’s biodiversity and emblematic species, with the latest one of the three (LIFE ElClima on the adaptation of the Eleonora’s Falcon to climate change) receiving this year’s Natura 2000 Award in the “Conservation on Land” category.
The undeniable scientific prestige of the 27 experts that co-sign the letter, in tandem with HOS/BirdLife Greece' strongly-documented memo on the incompatability of the planned installation, submitted to the public consultation of the project, leave no option to the competent authorities but to reject this plan once and for all.