European Commission publishes study on specific design elements of biodiversity offsets: Biodiversity metrics and mechanisms for securing long term conservation benefits

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has com­mis­sioned a study on spe­cific design ele­ments of bio­di­ver­sity off­sets: Bio­di­ver­sity met­rics and mech­a­nisms for secur­ing long term con­ser­va­tion ben­e­fits. The report and has been pre­pared by Matt Ray­ment, Rupert Haines, David McNeil, Mavourneen Con­way, Gra­ham Tucker and Eve­lyn Under­wood (at ICF Con­sult­ing Services).

You can access the full report on the web­site of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and find the the abstract copied below. See also a recent press release by FERN which raises con­cern about a this report on bio­di­ver­sity off­set­ting being com­mis­sioned before the con­clu­sion of the Euro­pean Commission’s con­sul­ta­tion on No Net Loss.


Bio­di­ver­sity off­sets have been iden­ti­fied as an essen­tial com­po­nent of an EU No Net Loss ini­tia­tive. Off­sets will con­tribute to achiev­ing the EU’s strat­egy to halt the loss of bio­di­ver­sity by 2020, pro­vid­ing they are care­fully designed to achieve mea­sur­able and suf­fi­cient con­ser­va­tion ben­e­fits and to main­tain these in the long term. This study researches the require­ments and options of spe­cific design ele­ments of bio­di­ver­sity off­sets, with a view to imple­ment­ing and oper­a­tional­is­ing the EU No Net Loss ini­tia­tive by 2015. It reviews inter­na­tional best prac­tice of design­ing off­set met­rics and estab­lish­ing mech­a­nisms for ensur­ing long term con­ser­va­tion ben­e­fits and explores the imple­men­ta­tion issues that could be faced in the EU. It is clear that dif­fer­ent off­set met­rics and dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions of mech­a­nisms will be appro­pri­ate in dif­fer­ent EU coun­tries and in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions and loca­tions. As such an EU off­set pol­icy should allow for a bal­ance to be struck between sys­tems that are suit­ably pre­scrip­tive to estab­lish com­mon min­i­mum stan­dards for main­te­nance of long-term ben­e­fits, and sys­tems that are real­is­tic and achiev­able and can be main­tained over time.

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