• News
  • Press Releases
  • Uncategorised
  • Wind

Successful conclusion of the 7th Conference on Wind energy and Wildlife impacts – CWW 2023 in Croatia

September 26, 2023 – The “7th Conference on Wind Energy and Wildlife Impacts – CWW 2023” concluded last week in Šibenik, Croatia, with a primary focus on identifying sustainable solutions for wind farm development. This prominent event, organized by Croatian companies OIKON and Supernatural, under the patronage of the European Parliament and the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, successfully drew together over 600 participants from almost 50 countries across the globe to address the sustainable expansion of renewable energy sources, with a strong commitment to nature and environmental preservation.

The 7th CWW Conference, globally renowned within the renewable energy sector, provided a vital platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences aimed at minimizing the ecological impact of wind power development, both offshore and onshore. This encompassed its impacts on avian and mammalian wildlife, such as birds, bats, large carnivores, and entire ecosystems. The insights and expertise shared during the conference hold significant relevance for advancing sustainable renewable energy projects worldwide. This aligns with the ambitious global targets for increased renewable energy adoption and the proliferation of wind power facilities.

With the overarching theme “Nature inclusive upscaling of wind energy”, the program encompassed nine key topics, spanning regulatory and planning aspects, species-specific responses, cumulative effects, ecosystem and habitat impacts, technology advancements, uncertainty management, mitigation strategies, emerging challenges, and practical implementations. The scientific program of the conference was meticulously curated by an international scientific advisory committee comprising 16 members, with David Tidhar, a biodiversity expert from the USA, leading the committee as chairperson.

It featured four keynote addresses, two panel discussions, six workshops, 108 oral presentations, and 90 poster presentations, covering a wide spectrum of environmental topics, ranging from holistic ecosystem considerations and biodiversity conservation to specific assessments of wind farm impacts on avian, bat, and large carnivore populations, marine habitats, and human-related aspects.

Dalibor Hatić, Chairman of the organizing committee and Director of Oikon Ltd. – Institute of Applied Ecology, expressed his pride in the conference’s success, stating: “This seventh edition of the conference, hosted in Croatia, witnessed the largest participation to date and marked the most successful to date. The fact that this esteemed global conference found its home in Croatia underscores the quality of our work in nature conservation and the promotion of renewable energy sources, both intrinsically environmental pursuits. It also shines a spotlight on the level of dedication Croatia has demonstrated in the realm of nature protection, a commitment recognized by experts and scientists worldwide.

Mirna Mazija, conference co-chair and Director of Supernatural, emphasized the global significance of CWW 2023, stating: “The conference facilitated the exchange of knowledge and experiences between experts and organizations from around the world, fostering the development of sustainable approaches to wind energy worldwide. We are thrilled with the engagement and contributions from our participants.

As wind energy expands globally, we must ensure that the state of the science of wind energy and biodiversity impacts is relevant for new markets. Knowledge exchange and international collaboration are critical to address the negative impacts of the industry and foster science-based solutions.  CWW is the largest international conference on the topic and the 7th conference achieved not only the highest attendance of any CWW to-date, but also brought together the most diverse group of participants in terms of countries represented and stakeholders present, including prominent nature conservation organizations such as Birdlife International and Bat Conservation International, and six development finance institutions including IFC, EBRD, ADB, KfW, DFC and FMO.  Thank you to all of the contributors who made the 7th conference a truly memorable event,” said David Tidhar, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee.

The Conference on Wind Energy and Wildlife (CWW) is an international conference and one of the biggest and most important conferences in the field. It brings together researchers, conservation scientists, wind industry professionals, government officials and NGO representatives from around the world to share their know-how and experiences and develop solutions to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts of wind farms on wildlife, both onshore and offshore. It also looks into the opportunities to enhance nature when developing wind farms. This all promotes a collaborative approach to resolving the key issues faced at wind farms. The conference takes place every two years and attracts a global audience. So far, there have been seven CWW events since the inaugural meeting in Norway in 2011, followed by Sweden in 2013, Germany in 2015, Portugal in 2017, Scotland in 2019, the Netherlands in 2022 and Croatia in 2023.