PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY IN SENEGAL

At Lekela, our goal is to ensure that we leave a positive, lasting legacy in the communities where we operate. Each of our projects is accompanied by considerable investment into the local community and environment – and Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, our 158.7 MW wind project in Senegal, is no different.

The wind farm is in a region of farmland but is home to several species of birds and bats. Fruit bats are a common sight, given the extent of mango plantations below the turbines. Towards the coast there are also species of seabird that range inland.

During project design, it was decided that the area constitutes a critical habitat for the hooded vulture, an endangered species that is found across much of sub-Saharan Africa. Along with many other vulture species in Africa, its population is in rapid decline. The reasons for this decline are varied, but human activities have played an outsized role.

We aim to work with – never against – the natural environment, so we are constantly assessing the impact of our work on biodiversity, and particularly species that are of conservation concern.  

As part of our commitments to the project Lekela seeks to protect the hooded vulture species through mitigation and research programmes. A yet unknown insight into the species is the extent of human-vulture interactions in the region, so a key element of our plan is to continue this research to develop insights that can inform better decision-making. This is on top of rigorous annual monitoring surveys that will adapt our response as appropriate.

After our first periods of monitoring in 2020 and throughout 2021, no concerns have been raised with no fatalities of endangered species or vultures. These monitoring and research commitments are in place for at least the next 15 years, which we hope demonstrates Lekela’s commitment to preserve and enhance the area’s rich biodiversity in the long-term.