A National Biodiversity Offset Scheme: A Road Map for Liberia’s Mining Sector — new World Bank report

Sally John­son has writ­ten a report enti­tled “A National Bio­di­ver­sity Off­set Scheme: A Road Map for Liberia’s Min­ing Sec­tor”. This report was also pre­sented in a BBOP webi­nar last fri­day. You can find the full report here: A National Bio­di­ver­sity Off­set Scheme for Liberia and see the exec­u­tive sum­mary pasted below.

 Exec­u­tive Sum­mary: A Road Map for Liberia

Liberia is tak­ing the pro­gres­sive step of legally requir­ing min­ing com­pa­nies to imple­ment bio­di­ver­sity off­sets to address the resid­ual impacts of their activ­i­ties on bio­di­ver­sity after the appli­ca­tion of the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy. This step includes cur­rent pro­vi­sions con­tained in some Min­eral Devel­op­ment Agree­ments and the draft Min­ing Act (2014), which requires com­pli­ance with the Inter­na­tional Finance Corporation’s (IFC’s) Per­for­mance Stan­dards. How­ever, this approach could result in a num­ber of small ad hoc off­sets that do not nec­es­sar­ily respond to con­ser­va­tion pri­or­i­ties in Liberia and lack the nec­es­sary pro­tec­tion to ensure their long-term sus­tain­abil­ity. In addi­tion, the capac­ity of resource devel­op­ers to effec­tively imple­ment off­sets is lim­ited and con­strained by numer­ous exter­nal factors.

A Liber­ian national off­set scheme would entail the appli­ca­tion of a com­mon method­ol­ogy to ensure that con­ser­va­tion ben­e­fits are at least equiv­a­lent to bio­di­ver­sity losses due to min­ing invest­ments. Min­ing com­pany con­tri­bu­tions would help secure bio­di­ver­sity assets in a nation­ally coher­ent man­ner, rather than on an investment-by-investment basis. Respon­si­bil­ity for design, imple­men­ta­tion, mon­i­tor­ing, and long-term man­age­ment of bio­di­ver­sity off­sets would be trans­ferred from mul­ti­ple devel­op­ers to key gov­ern­ment agen­cies, with sup­port from national and inter­na­tional con­ser­va­tion and devel­op­ment partners.

The report is pre­sented in seven chap­ters. Fol­low­ing the intro­duc­tory chap­ter, chap­ter 2 dis­cusses the con­ser­va­tion imper­a­tives for Liberia and con­veys a sense of the qual­ity and extent of bio­di­ver­sity within Liberia. Chap­ter 3 describes the chal­lenge of secur­ing con­ser­va­tion out­comes in Liberia as well as the preva­lence of threats to bio­di­ver­sity. Chap­ter 4 dis­cusses the poten­tial for bio­di­ver­sity off­sets to help secure con­ser­va­tion out­comes. Chap­ter 5 cov­ers the legal, pol­icy, and insti­tu­tional frame­work in sup­port of bio­di­ver­sity off­sets. Chap­ter 6 dis­cusses the method­olog­i­cal aspects of imple­ment­ing a national bio­di­ver­sity off­set scheme, together with the chal­lenges of secur­ing and effec­tively man­ag­ing sources of fund­ing. Chap­ter 7 sum­ma­rizes the report’s sug­gested next steps to imple­ment a road map for bio­di­ver­sity off­sets in Liberia. Details of addi­tional infor­ma­tion sources and ref­er­ence mate­ri­als are in the appendices.

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