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