SHORT INFO: The pros and cons of biodiversity offsets


Ariel Brun­ner of BirdLife Europe

What’s it about in short: arti­cle based on an inter­view with Ariel Brun­ner (BirdLife Europe) on the pros and cons of bio­di­ver­sity offsets

When was it released: Sep­tem­ber 7, 2015

By whom: IUCN

More info:

Short extract:

Ariel Brun­ner, head of Euro­pean Union Pol­icy for BirdLife Europe, serves on the IUCN Bio­di­ver­sity Off­sets pol­icy draft­ing com­mit­tee. He shares his organisation’s views on the issue.

Why does BirdLife care about bio­di­ver­sity offsets?

BirdLife is ded­i­cated to the con­ser­va­tion of bio­di­ver­sity, and off­sets have become a very con­tentious and pop­u­lar aspect of bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion in many parts of the world. If done right, off­sets can play a use­ful role in con­ser­va­tion, but if done wrong, they can under­mine con­ser­va­tion efforts.


What is the gen­eral feel­ing across the BirdLife net­work about offsets?

BirdLife is quite wary of off­sets in gen­eral. We recog­nise that off­sets can play a role within the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy, in some cases. But I think there is wide­spread worry in the bio­di­ver­sity fam­ily about this cur­rent ‘fash­ion’ for off­sets, which tries to present off­sets as a stand-alone solu­tion  and this takes away the empha­sis on avoid­ance.  This is dan­ger­ous because it risks facil­i­tat­ing inap­pro­pri­ate devel­op­ment that should not hap­pen in cer­tain places. So, many BirdLife part­ners are engag­ing in off­sets schemes, but only when they believe it can play a pos­i­tive role and only when they are an inte­gral part of a sound avoid­ance framework.

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