New PhD study on Biodiversity offsets and the supply chain: “Compensating the biodiversity impacts of land use: Toward ecologically equal exchange in the North–South context”

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 ( 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.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>