SHORT INFO: Biodiversity offsetting – learning from success and failure

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

More info:

Short extract:

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.

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