Below is a translation of the letter being sent by the President of the DDME to 100 elected officials, decision-making authorities, associations...
Subject: Please let us know your position concerning the industrial wind turbine project along the right bank of the Gironde Estuary
Dear Mr. (or Ms.)___,
The various initiatives that France has undertaken to ensure its transition énergétique should simultaneously be committed to safeguarding the country’s biodiversity and environment; they should coexist in harmony with the great challenges facing our planet in combating global warming.
Whereas France’s engagement to its transition énergétique is necessary if we are to slow global warming , protect the planet and respect numerous European directives aimed at preserving its biodiversity, marshlands and exceptional landscapes, a project underway by EDF-R to install up to forty industrial wind turbines, 180 metres tall, along the right bank of the Gironde Estuary – exactly in the middle of one of the main bird migratory routes of Europe – is showing itself to be a monumental misjudgement considering the region’s rich biodiversity, fragile environment and extraordinary landscape that has, until now, remain unspoiled.
Any official or organisation responsible for defending our region’s biodiversity cannot but understand that such a project should never move forward in such a context: the right bank of the Gironde Estuary has for many years been classified a Natura 2000 area, in particular a Special Protection Area (SPA, ZPS in French) since 2004. Before integrating the Natura 2000 network, it was already recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA, ZICO in French) under the European Directive N° 79-409/CEE (‘Birds Directive’), ratified by France in 1979. The right bank of the Gironde Estuary is also protected by France’s Loi Littoral, enacted to protect the country’s coastline.
The attached documents detail different aspects of our unique region: its importance in safeguarding certain endangered bird species such as the Aquatic Warbler, its exceptional character as a Natura 2000 zone composed of fragile marshlands, as well as its recognition as a remarkable landscape, in conformity with the European Landscape Convention of the Council of Europe.
Please note that, to date, the following organisations and elected officials have expressed their opposition to EDF-R’s project to install industrial wind turbines along the Gironde Estuary:
– The Nouvelle Aquitaine Regional Council
– The President of the Charente-Maritime Departmental Council
– The Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO, the French partner of BirdLife International)
– The Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB)
– The Wine Council for the Grand Crus Classés of 1855
– The Conservatory of the Gironde Estuary
– The mayors of the different townships concerned, as well as numerous mayors of the Medoc
– The region’s elected deputies to the National Assembly
As you can see, Mr. X (or Ms. X), we are faced with an alarming situation where action is urgently needed. We cannot stand idly by and watch as havoc is wreaked on the estuary’s biodiversity, as its beautiful landscape is irreversibly destroyed, its soil forever decimated by the thousands of tonnes of reinforced concrete needed to secure each turbine (1,000 – 1,500 tonnes of concrete and 80 tonnes of metal per turbine), as well as the additional infrastructure required (e.g., kilometres of underground cables), not to mention the significant negative impact on regional tourism and the health of those living here.
We cannot allow the natural yet fragile harmony of the estuary’s marshlands, one that has taken centuries to establish and which has become a nourishing habitat for so many animal species, be threatened by this dangerous project.
Given the seriousness and urgency at hand, we respectfully ask that you let us know your position regarding EDF-R’s industrial wind turbine project along the right bank of the Gironde Estuary, and what steps you plan on taking in this matter.
On behalf of the 350 members of our association, I extend my sincere appreciation for the attention you have given us, and assure you, Mr X (or Ms. X), of our profound respect for the responsibilities you shoulder.
President of the Défense des Marais de L’Estuaire (DDME)
1. Biodiversité / Avifaune
2. Paysage remarquable
Readers of our blog can access the annexes attached to the letter, as well as the dossier, ‘Enjeux avifaunistiques’:
Annexe ‘Biodiversité / Avifaune’, click HERE
Annexe ‘Paysage remarquable’, click HERE
The dossier ‘Enjeux avifaunistiques’ includes letters from :
– Mr. Raphaël Musseau, ecological researcher and engineer, Biosphère Environnement, and instructor at the Université Jean-Monnet-Saint-Etienne
– Mr. Christophe Barbraud, ecological biologist and director at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
– Ms. Christine Blaize, ecologist and coordinator of the Aquatic Warbler National Action Plan at the Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire
– Dr. Martin Flade, Chairman of the BirdLife International Aquatic Warbler Conservation Team (AWCT)
To access the dossier ‘Enjeux avifaunistiques’, click HERE