BBOP webinar on Wednesday, November 18, 2015: Network Rail Infrastructure Projects’ application of the mitigation hierarchy

bbop-logoThere’s another BBOP webi­nar upcom­ing, Wednes­day, Novem­ber 18.

This time the topic is: “Net­work Rail Infra­struc­ture Projects’ appli­ca­tion of the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy”. Uk’s Net­work Rail Infra­struc­ture Project presents the progress on its Net Pos­i­tive commitment.

As usual the webi­nar is part of the BBOP com­mu­nity of prac­tice (all pre­vi­ous webi­nars are archived there if you want to lis­ten to them later).

When and how does the BBOP webi­nar take place?

Wednes­day, 18 Novem­ber at 15:00 UTC
(3:00pm UK; 10:00 am EDT)
You can reg­is­ter via this link. Upon reg­is­tra­tion you will receive a con­fir­ma­tion email with the link to the webi­nar (that will become active shortly before the pre­sen­ta­tion stats. You will be con­nected to audio using your computer’s micro­phone and speak­ers (VoIP). A head­set is rec­om­mended. Or, you may select Use Tele­phone after join­ing the Webinar.

Some infor­ma­tion on the BBOP webinar

Net­work Rail Infra­struc­ture Projects (IP) has com­mit­ted to achiev­ing a “mea­sur­able net pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion towards bio­di­ver­sity in the UK”. It is using the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy to pri­ori­tise avoid­ing and min­imis­ing impacts on bio­di­ver­sity, and then restor­ing and reha­bil­i­tat­ing impacts on-site before finally com­pen­sat­ing for any unavoid­able impacts.

Infra­struc­ture projects often mean veg­e­ta­tion on rail­way embank­ments must be removed.  Native species are the pri­or­ity for re-planting plans, how­ever re-planting large species, espe­cially trees, is restricted to ensure safe rail­way oper­a­tions.  As a result, restor­ing lost habi­tat and deliv­er­ing ‘Net Pos­i­tive’ ben­e­fits for bio­di­ver­sity on rail­way land itself is not always pos­si­ble, even with the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy and com­pli­ance with laws pro­tect­ing wildlife.  In these sit­u­a­tions, and only as a last resort, bio­di­ver­sity off­set­ting is considered.

Bio­di­ver­sity off­set­ting is con­tro­ver­sial in some set­tings: peo­ple sus­pect it of being an easy way for devel­op­ers to buy their way out of con­ser­va­tion require­ments.  Yet, if off­set­ting is nec­es­sary, it can ensure that actions to com­pen­sate for unavoid­able habi­tat loss strate­gi­cally ben­e­fit local and national con­ser­va­tion pri­or­i­ties.  Also, off­set­ting requires mea­sur­able con­ser­va­tion out­comes com­pared with all bio­di­ver­sity losses from a project.  So it is not just focused on species specif­i­cally named in wildlife laws and plan­ning reg­u­la­tions, but takes a more holis­tic approach by encom­pass­ing species not cov­ered by legal and plan­ning systems.

Net­work Rail IP’s approach to Net Pos­i­tive is based on good prac­tice prin­ci­ples of bio­di­ver­sity off­set­ting because these pro­vide a robust and chal­leng­ing frame­work to achieve devel­op­ment with net pos­i­tive out­comes for nature con­ser­va­tion.  In this webi­nar, Net­work Rail IP describes its approach and progress to date with its country-wide Net Pos­i­tive pilots, and dis­cusses its lessons learnt to date and plans for Net Pos­i­tive to become business-as-usual by March 2019.

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