Policy Development for Environmental Licensing and Biodiversity Offsets in Latin America — new paper by Villarroya, Barros and Kiesecker

Ana Vil­lar­roya, Ana Christina Bar­ros and Joe Kiesecker have pub­lished a new paper on “Pol­icy Devel­op­ment for Envi­ron­men­tal Licens­ing and Bio­di­ver­sity Off­sets in Latin Amer­ica in PLOS ONE. You can access the full paper here  (open access) and find the abstract copied below.

Read also more here: BIODIVERSITY OFFSETTING ADVANCES IN LATIN AMERICA AMIDST CONTROVERSY, Sep­tem­ber 23, 2014, by Emilio Godoy (see alsohere and here and here)


Attempts to meet bio­di­ver­sity goals through appli­ca­tion of the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy have gained wide trac­tion glob­ally with increased devel­op­ment of pub­lic pol­icy, lend­ing stan­dards, and cor­po­rate prac­tices. With inter­est in bio­di­ver­sity off­sets increas­ing in Latin Amer­ica, we seek to strengthen the basis for pol­icy devel­op­ment through a review of major envi­ron­men­tal licens­ing pol­icy frame­works in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colom­bia, Mex­ico, Peru and Venezuela. Here we focused our review on an exam­i­na­tion of national level poli­cies to eval­u­ate to which degree cur­rent pro­vi­sions pro­mote pos­i­tive envi­ron­men­tal out­comes. All the sur­veyed coun­tries have national-level Envi­ron­men­tal Impact Assess­ment laws or reg­u­la­tions that cover the habi­tats present in their ter­ri­to­ries. Although most coun­tries enable the use of off­sets only Brazil, Colom­bia, Mex­ico and Peru explic­itly require their imple­men­ta­tion. Our review has shown that while advanc­ing quite detailed off­set poli­cies, most coun­tries do not seem to have strong require­ments regard­ing impact avoid­ance. Despite this defi­ciency most coun­tries have a strong foun­da­tion from which to develop pol­icy for bio­di­ver­sity off­sets, but sev­eral issues require fur­ther guid­ance, includ­ing how best to: (1) ensure con­for­mance with the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy; (2) iden­tify the most envi­ron­men­tally prefer­able off­sets within a land­scape con­text; (3) deter­mine appro­pri­ate mit­i­ga­tion replace­ment ratios; and (4) ensure appro­pri­ate time and effort is given to mon­i­tor off­set performance.

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