With both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, certainly no-one anticipated the challenging trade-offs between renewable energy development and conservation of biological diversity. Densely populated Germany ranks third in worldwide installed wind energy capacity, only outpaced by China and the USA so far. However, power and interest shifts via well-organised civil and political opposition indicate that efforts to reconcile climate protection and wildlife conservation cannot be taken for granted.
Funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), the horizon scan aimed at identifying the emerging need for collaborative action, based on the viewpoints of various stakeholders and the state of research in wildlife conservation and wind energy development. We applied a multi-faceted, inclusive, and peer-reviewed research process, building on ca. 50 explorative expert interviews, previous research, and a literature review. Interviewees ranged across academia, agencies, wind developers, consultants, associations, and environmental groups. The process yielded 18 emerging issues at the nexus of wind and wildlife, planning and technologies, and social aspects to cope with the challenges ahead. We present a majority of the issues in this chapter and conclude with guiding follow-up principles.