PhD study on Biodiversity Offsets
I am very happy to see more and more very extensive and highly valuable PhD studies emerge in the offsets field. One of the latest is by Michael Curran prepared at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland). The title of his work is “Compensating the biodiversity impacts of land use: Toward ecologically equal exchange in the North–South context”.
Michael was so kind to share the link to the full text (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/39197900/PhD_Curran_Full_Electronic.pdf) and asked me to pass this on. For a brief insight, please find (a part of) the abstract of the thesis pasted below:
Abstract from the PhD study on Biodiversity offsets
“Increasing consumption and global trade of agricultural products is driving rapid declines in biodiversity in agricultural frontier regions, primarily in the Global South. Rising demand for food, fodder and biofuel in developed and emerging nations is driving displaced habitat and species impacts via trade, requiring a strengthening of consumer responsibility in the affluent Global North. Improved regulation and the strengthening of international treaties relating to biodiversity loss and environmental protection are required. At the same time, international compensation schemes for ecological damages, such as biodiversity offsets, represent one immediate option to address impacts. However, at least four methodological hurdles stand out: (1) whole-supply chain impact assessment tools, such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), must be improved to adequately integrate biodiversity loss; (2) the biodiversity offset methodology must be improved to reduce risks, adequately reflect ecological value and operate internationally; (3) different conservation strategies must be employed in the right context to ensure effective, fair and additional conservation gains; and (4) opaque international supply chains mean impact location is often unknown, thus impact assessment and compensation must be assessed under spatial uncertainty. This dissertation attempts to resolve some of these issues, and in the process, investigate the potential for an international application of the biodiversity offset methodology in order to compensate producing countries of the Global South for consumptioninduced biodiversity loss.”