Biodiversity offsets: practice and promise — paper by Martin Fallding

Mar­tin Falld­ing has  pub­lished a paper enti­tled Bio­di­ver­sity off­sets: Prac­tice and promise” in Envi­ron­men­tal and Plan­ning Law Jour­nal (Vol­ume 31 Part 1, 2014). He exam­ines off­sets form a Aus­tralian per­spec­tive, look­ing at pol­icy and prac­tice espe­cially in the state of New South Wales. Read more on the Jour­nal web­site (pay-walled). You may also access the full paper here or find a pdf fol­low­ing: Bio­di­ver­sity offsets_practice and promise For more infor­ma­tion see also a related pre­sen­ta­tion and the abstract below.


Bio­di­ver­sity off­sets are a tool to com­pen­sate for bio­di­ver­sity losses, and to pro­tect and main­tain bio­di­ver­sity val­ues in alter­na­tive loca­tions. Off­sets nor­mally apply where bio­di­ver­sity loss can­not be avoided, mit­i­gated or min­imised in devel­op­ment pro­pos­als, and rep­re­sent an often con­tro­ver­sial decision-making inno­va­tion at the inter­sec­tion of sci­ence, law, pol­i­tics and eco­nom­ics. Bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion under­pins eco­log­i­cally sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and has become an impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion in land-use plan­ning. This arti­cle out­lines what off­sets are, how they work, and iden­ti­fies issues for their appli­ca­tion into the future. It pro­vides back­ground on how off­sets have evolved and reviews pol­icy and prac­tice in Aus­tralia, espe­cially in New South Wales. Bio­di­ver­sity off­set­ting prac­tice across Aus­tralia is incon­sis­tent, com­plex and con­fus­ing. The arti­cle dis­cusses the appli­ca­tion of off­set prin­ci­ples, leg­isla­tive and pol­icy frame­works, and links to land-use plan­ning processes. Improve­ments to cur­rent off­set­ting approaches are also suggested.

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