I know, it’s a bit short notice, but there is another BBOP webinar being held in an hour’s time from now. This week the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme has announced its next BBOP webinar as
This time the topic is: “Some are more equal than others: different biodiversity offset methodologies applied to one case study”. Joe W. Bull, Imperial College London, will present the research and findings from two recent papers: “Comparing biodiversity offset calculation methods with a case study in Uzbekistan” and “Conservation when nothing stands still: moving targets and biodiversity offsets”.
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?
Some information on the BBOP webinar
Here’s what the Joe Bull says about the upcoming webinar:
Conservation is particularly difficult for ‘moving targets’, for instance, migratory species or landscapes that are subject to relatively rapid environmental change. Traditional conservation interventions, which often involve static tools such as fixed protected areas, may be ineffective for moving targets. Various more dynamic approaches to conservation have been proposed, but these ideas remain for the most part theoretical. An important question is how to implement them and evaluate their effectiveness in practice.
As we know, biodiversity offsets replace components of biodiversity unavoidably lost during development, aiming to ensure no net loss (NNL) of biodiversity overall. Due to their flexibility and this unique NNL (or better) requirement, offsets provide a platform for testing dynamic new conservation approaches. In this talk, I first explore the potential for offsets to conserve moving targets, illustrating these themes using a particularly complex dynamic conservation problem: the migratory Saiga antelope Saiga tatarica in Uzbekistan.
I then go on to discuss how calculating the ecological gains required for NNL is non-trivial, and how various methodologies are available. To date, there has been no comparison among methodologies for a common case study. I explain how we used data on industrial impacts in Uzbekistan to provide such a comparison. Having quantified losses from 40 years of gas extraction, using empirical data on vegetation impacts alongside estimates of disruption to mammals, we used a range of offset methodologies to calculate the gains required to achieve NNL. This included crude comparison of potential biodiversity outcomes for “in kind” and “out of kind” offsets, all within a highly dynamic system.
The research demonstrated that different methods for calculating the required offsets can result in divergent outcomes for biodiversity, and different trajectories in biodiversity outcomes over time. The findings highlight that the method used to quantify losses and gains strongly influences the biodiversity outcomes of offsetting, implying that offsets generated using different methodologies are not transferable between jurisdictions — which is a challenge when considering moving conservation targets. However, conservation gains from out of kind offsets may outweigh those from strict in kind NNL interpretations.