What’s it about in short: Can biodiversity offsetting really help us compensate for environmental damage caused by development, or is it just a licence to trash? Fauna & Flora International’s David Marsh looks at some of the lessons we have learned about this (often controversial) tool.
When was it released: September 4, 2015
By whom: Fauna & Flora International, David Marsh
Sharing lessons across sectors
Offsetting is still in its infancy, and whilst we have found lots of cases where offsets have not achieved their intended biodiversity benefits, lessons are clearly being learnt in many cases. At FFI, we too are learning and we need to keep learning (as much from failures as from successes) so that we can help ensure companies continue to improve the design and implementation of offsetting schemes.
Our research did uncover some promising cases that showed that, when used properly, biodiversity offsetting can benefit biodiversity. These examples are few but they show that offsetting can work.
The learning event brought together an incredibly diverse range of participants from different sectors and countries – allowing everyone to learn from our collective experiences. Some participants were able to share direct experience of implementing offsets, while others were able to take lessons learned at the event back to their respective industries and countries.
This collaborative effort is helping to build up a community of practice among FFI staff and partners to take the offset discussions forward and tackle the very complex dilemmas and challenges they pose for the conservation community.