Stakeholder day: The No Net Loss Goal and challenges of biodiversity offsets implementation
Convened by: Marianne Darbi, Jo Treweek
In light of ongoing biodiversity loss there is an increasing need for restoration based activities to complement conventional nature conservation activities. Building on this premise, the paradigm of “no net loss” has risen to prominence in a worldwide context and particularly with respect to EU policy. In this scope, biodiversity offsets are increasingly explored and promoted to reach the no net loss goal.1
While impact mitigation and biodiversity offsets are nothing new at global level (with offset frameworks being in place for a long time in Germany, the US, Australia, Canada, Brazil etc.)2,3 the subject has risen onto the political agenda of the European Union in the past years, most notably via the proposed No Net Loss Initiative4, but also in several member states (e.g. France, Spain, the UK and Sweden).
As biodiversity offsets have matured in terms of scope, definition and growing uptake worldwide, they have also become a prospering new research field. A number of challenges associated with them have been widely discussed in the literature, in particular regarding technical and methodological quality standards.5 Nevertheless, a number of critical points persist from which further research demand derives. This refers particularly to implementation aspects and the evaluation of the outcomes of biodiversity offsets in light of their complexity and different conditions under which they arise. Therefore, this symposium aims to bring together various viewpoints from science, practice and policy on the challenges of biodiversity offsets implementation and stakeholder relations in different contexts across Europe. (245 words)
1 Darbi, M., Albrecht, J. & Schumacher, J. 2016. Die europäische No Net Loss-Initiative und Biodiversity Offsets. Einblicke in die aktuelle Diskussion zur Kompensation von Eingriffen in die Biodiversität aus deutscher Perspektive. In: Jahrbuch des Umwelt- und Technikrechts 2016.
2 Madsen et al. 2010. State of biodiversity markets: offset and compensation programs worldwide.
3 Darbi, M. et al. 2010. Impact mitigation and biodiversity offsets – Compensation approaches from around the world. Naturschutz und Biologische Vielfalt 101.
4 European Commission 2015. No Net Loss of Biodiversity public consultation. Summary overview of the responses. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/nnl/pdf/report.pdf (cf. European Commission 2011. The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, COM(2011) 244 endg.)
5 Bull et al. 2013. Biodiversity offsets in theory and practice. Oryx, 47(03), 369-380.