“no state legislation fully meets Commonwealth standards for biodiversity offsets”
The report Assessment of the adequacy of threatened species & planning laws has been released by the Places You Love Alliance, a coalition of 42 Australian NGOs. Read more at Blue and Green tomorrow or see a similar article on the topic in the Guardian.
A Report on Biodiversity Offsetting
Nice to see another PhD in the biodiversity offsets field – with more analyses such as this we will be able to have a better informed discussion! Many thanks Carlos!
As the PhD is still “fresh” and under “investigation” it is not yet publicly available. But instead, you may want to have a look the executive summary (Ferreira_2014_Biodiversity Offset Markets). Continue reading
No to Biodiversity Offsetting?
As biodiversity offsets become more visible in the public they are subject to a growing controversy. Critics of biodiversity offsets have a growing lobby, especially in the UK, where the government seems to rush, wanting to push through the concept of biodiversity offsets, no matter at what expense and quality. Continue reading
Biodiversity Offsets under regulatory systems
A decade ago offsets only existed under several regulatory systems e.g. Environmental Impact Assessment, US Wetland Mitigation, German Impact Mitigation Regulation and other (see table below for some selected more).
The business case and voluntary biodiversity offsets
These have served as a source for the development of new toolkits and standards for the “the business case” for biodiversity offsets (e.g. BBOP, IFC, ICMM etc.). This implied the promotion of “voluntary offsets” as opposed to the existing “mandatory offsets”.
Up to now, these two have been used mostly literally and not further underpinned. If you look at mandatory and voluntary biodiversity offsets as antipodes it is obvious that this “black-or-white” distinction doesn’t work (see my previous post Early draft on a Typology of Biodiversity Offsets). Biodiversity offsets are far more complex than that. Continue reading
“Biodiversity” is a buzzword (and “Biodiversity Offset” is becoming one)
One reason for the popularity of biodiversity offsets is inherent to the term itself: “biodiversity” is probably one of the most prominent buzzwords of the 21st century (after “sustainability” at the end of the 20th century).
Simply typing “biodiversity” into the Google search engine delivers more than forty million results, and every day several hundreds or thousands of new information sources are being produced and added (as of August 2014).
While the Google search hits for “Biodiversity Offset” (including both “Biodiversity Offsets” and “Biodiversity Offsetting”) can in no way be compared to the ones for “Biodiversity”, they still deliver a remarkable number — seen that it is a very specific and complex concept.
A global problem: the loss of biodiversity on the political agenda
The natural world is going down. Many species and their habitats, and ecosystem as a whole, are threatened by human activities. A broad consensus exists among scientists, politicians, businesses and in civil society as a whole that biodiversity loss is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing.
This is a problem not only because of the intrinsic value of nature but also because humans rely on a healthy environment as the basis for their existence (see Millenium Ecosystem assessment, Global Environmental Outlook).
As a result, politics have declared that actions need to be taken to halt this global loss urgently and immediately. Continue reading
I usually stroll through the net searching for news on biodiversity offsets. Actually I have the feeling that I don’t need to search for the news anymore, but the news “find me”. I come across an interesting article, a new comment or even a new guidance that is discussed or released everytime I am opening my browser.
But yesterday’s “prey” was something special that I want to share with you. I have never heard of scoop.it! before. That is a an online platform, where you can collect news on your field(s) of interest in a sort of folder or timeline. It is as easy as bookmarking, but with the advantages that the items are displayed visually and in the order you added them. You can also add a short personal comment on every item you add. Furthermore, you can add keywords and will automatically have suggestions for interesting news that are regularly updated. I will change my old browser bookmarks to scoop and have created http://www.scoop.it/t/biodiversity-offsets-blog.
You may ask yourself what that has got to do with biodiversity offsets and how you can benefit from this. Do have a look at http://www.scoop.it/t/biodiversity-offsets. That is a collection started by Carlos Ferreira specifically on biodiversity offsets. This dates back to 2011 and is a real valuable source of information. Thanks, Carlos for pulling this together and for sharing — I will definitely follow this!
Megan Evans, who writes her PhD at the Australian National University, has published a nice article on her blog, trying to outbalance a rather poorly investigated article published in the Guardian on an Australian coal terminal. As she says:
I never thought I’d be in a situation where I felt the need to defend Gina Rinehart. I’m pro-mining tax, love the Great Barrier Reef, pro-divestment and pro-safe climate. But, I want an informed debate on these issues – and in the case of the proposed Abbot Point coal terminal development, we need to have a decent understanding of the environmental policies which guide the environmental impact assessment process.
While I am not into the details of this project, the example illustrates that the discussion about biodiversity offsets has often become a hustle and bustle of quickly picked arguments instead of a “well-informed debate”. Thanks, Megan to add seriousness to this!
To read the full article, please visit: http://mcevansresearch.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/gina-vs-the-reef-a-plea-for-informed-debate-on-biodiversity-offsets/comment-page-1/#comment-1943
“Challenging futures of biodiversity offsets and banking” was the name of a workshop that was held on 19 April 2013 in Berlin. The workshop was organized by the ‘Innovation in Governance Research Group’ Berlin as part of its research on the emergence, development and spread of new forms of governance.
The team applied a scenario-based approach to engage the participants in a dialogue about biodiversity offsets and habitat banking in the context of governance and principles of sustainable development. As a result, 24 invited experts gathered for a lively discussion (I took part in this discussion). The report of this event is now publicly available. Thanks to Carsten Mann and his team.
I have extracted some main points from the summary of the report below.
The French ministry of the environment (Ministère de l’Écologie, du Développement durable et de l’Énergie) has recently issued an article on the application of the mitigation hierarchy (called séquence Eviter-Reduire-Compenser — ERC) in France. It is entitled “The mitigation hierarchy, a tool to preserve natural habitats” and was published in “le point sur”. Thanks to Anne-Laure Wittmann for pointing to this. For more information you can also refer to my previous post: Doctrine ERC (Eviter-Reduire-Compenser) – Application of the Mitigation Hierarchy in France.
Here’s the link to the English version: http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/LPS184_cle4ecbf7.pdf and the French version can be found here: http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/LPS184-2.pdf