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
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.