Report on guidance for biodiversity compensation in Dutch businesses (BioCom Project)

This is our first guest post, by Jolanda van Schaick from Dutch con­sul­tancy CREM!

The BioComProjectOur world­wide eco­nomic activ­i­ties have reper­cus­sions on bio­di­ver­sity. Plant and ani­mal species are dis­ap­pear­ing at an ever increas­ing rate and the nat­ural resources of our world are becom­ing scarcer. It is high time to do some­thing about it. The project ‘Bio­di­ver­sity Com­pen­sa­tion: Towards con­crete plans and guid­ance for busi­nesses’ pro­vides inspi­ra­tion, knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence. The results are pub­lished in ‘The Bio­Com Project’.

This report describes among oth­ers three com­pen­sa­tion plans that are tested in prac­tice. Addi­tion­ally, a prac­ti­cally applic­a­ble step-by-step plan was drawn up for pro­gres­sive com­pa­nies that wish to take action in the field of bio­di­ver­sity compensation.

What is bio­di­ver­sity compensation?

The goal of bio­di­ver­sity com­pen­sa­tion is to pre­vent the occur­rence of a loss in bio­di­ver­sity due to eco­nomic activ­i­ties tak­ing place and prefer­ably even to gain bio­di­ver­sity, for exam­ple by safe­guard­ing endan­gered habi­tats or by rais­ing the qual­ity and nature val­ues of degraded areas. Bio­di­ver­sity com­pen­sa­tion is an option when oppor­tu­ni­ties to mit­i­gate are exhausted (mit­i­gate = mea­sures to pre­vent or reduce neg­a­tive effects).

Prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence from the Bio­Com Project

The Nether­lands has leg­is­la­tion under which bio­di­ver­sity com­pen­sa­tion is com­pul­sory, such as the Nature Pro­tec­tion Act or the Flora and Fauna Act. The aim of this Bio­Com project is vol­un­tary bio­di­ver­sity com­pen­sa­tion. In this project which was financed by the gov­ern­ment, three com­pa­nies coop­er­ated with sev­eral non-governmental orga­ni­za­tions, author­i­ties and the Nether­lands Envi­ron­men­tal Assess­ment Agency. Unique in this coop­er­a­tion was the broad vision that aimed at new and exist­ing cor­po­rate activ­i­ties, includ­ing the activ­i­ties of trad­ing part­ners (such as sup­pli­ers). The orga­ni­za­tion Sus­tain­abil­ity Con­sult­ing, Steven de Bie (Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­sity and Research) and CREM sup­ported the project with respect to con­tent and process.

See the Bio­Com’ Project. Dutch com­pa­nies’ expe­ri­ence with bio­di­ver­sity com­pen­sa­tion, includ­ing their sup­ply chains or have a look at the pdf: The_BioCom_Project.

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