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.