Earth Active supported the financing of an energy performance improvement project in Ukraine, including the construction of a solar plant and battery storage upgrades at five operational hydroelectric dam sites. As all five sites were located near large water bodies supporting migratory waterbirds, Earth Active conducted 5 bespoke Critical Habitat Assessments (CHA’s) to assess the risk to these protected populations.
The client needed all five of the CHA’s carried out within a two-week time window to support financing milestones. Through Earth Active CHA methodology, that combines the use of an integrated biodiversity assessment tool (IBAT), the IUCN, GBIF, eBird and the local red books and notably Earth Active’s CHA screening algorithm, delivery of CHA’s within this timeframe was possible. All CHA’s were conducted to comply with the IFC Performance Standards.
Findings from the CHA’s found that migratory bird habitats were not going to be triggered for Critical Habitat, however it recognised that an endangered insect species was potentially present at one site. Earth Active supported by Ukrainian academics specialised in the biodiversity of the endangered species, conducted a targeted survey, supported by a general biodiversity survey to improve our understanding of the site. We were then able to provide the client with an updated CHA for this site, providing full clarity on its Critical Habitat status and enabling construction works to begin.
Utilising our local associate network, we were able to quickly understand the seasonal issues at each location, including migratory waterbirds, and propose suitable mitigating actions. Proposals for design amendments included avoiding the most sensitive habitats and species identified during surveys, a key factor to helping the energy company to meet the project financing requirements. We used our agile approach to work quickly and effectively to deliver the solution needed. We helped the client to incorporate the results of the CHA into the report and supported the client in making design changes and achieving financing approval.
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Critical Habitat Assessments
Biodiversity survey and survey reports