Ambio

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 184–189 | Cite as

Achieving biodiversity benefits with offsets: Research gaps, challenges, and needs

Perspective

Abstract

Biodiversity offsets are becoming increasingly common across a portfolio of settings: national policy, voluntary programs, international lending, and corporate business structures. Given the diversity of ecological, political, and socio-economic systems where offsets may be applied, place-based information is likely to be most useful in designing and implementing offset programs, along with guiding principles that assure best practice. We reviewed the research on biodiversity offsets to explore gaps and needs. While the peer-reviewed literature on offsets is growing rapidly, it is heavily dominated by ecological theory, wetland ecosystems, and U.S.-based research. Given that majority of offset policies and programs are occurring in middle- and low-income countries, the research gaps we identified present a number of risks. They also present an opportunity to create regionally based learning platforms focused on pilot projects and institutional capacity building. Scientific research should diversify, both topically and geographically, in order to support the successful design, implementation, and monitoring of biodiversity offset programs.

Keywords

Conservation Design Mitigation Offsets 

Supplementary material

13280_2016_810_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (253 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 254 kb)

References

  1. Bekessy, S., B. Wintle, D.B. Lindenmayer, M.A. Mccarthy, M. Colyvan, M.A. Burgman, and H.P. Possingham. 2010. The biodiversity bank cannot be a lending bank. Conservation Letters 3: 151–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benabou, S. 2014. Making up for lost nature? A critical review of the international development of voluntary biodiversity offsets. Environment and Society: Advances in Research 5: 103–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BenDor, T., N. Brozovic, and V.G. Pallathucheril. 2008. The social impacts of wetland mitigation policies in the United States. Journal of Planning Literature 22: 341–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BenDor, T., and A. Stewart. 2011. Land use planning and social equity in North Carolina’s compensatory wetland and stream mitigation programs. Environmental Management 47: 239–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bovarnick, A., C. Knight, and J. Stephenson. 2010. Habitat banking in Latin America and Caribbean: A feasibility assessment. United Nations Development Programme.Google Scholar
  6. Bull, J.W., K.B. Suttle, A. Gordon, N.J. Singh, and E.J. Milner-Gulland. 2013. Biodiversity offsets in theory and practice. Oryx 47: 369–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bunn, D., M. Lubell, and C.K. Johnson. 2013. Reforms could boost conservation banking by landowners. California Agriculture 67: 86–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme. 2009. Biodiversity Offset Implementation Handbook Washington, DC Retrieved December, 2014 from, www.forest-trendsorg/biodiversityoffsetprogram/guidelines/oihpdf.
  9. Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme. 2012. Standard on biodiversity offsets, A tool to assess adherence to the BBOP Principles on Biodiversity Offset Design and Implementation BBOP, Washington D.C., US.Google Scholar
  10. Carroll, N., J. Fox, and R. Bayon. 2008. A guide to setting up and running biodiversity credit trading systems. In Conservation and biodiversity banking, ed. N. Carrol, J.F. Bayon, and R. Bayon, 3–8. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  11. Cochrane, J.F., E. Lonsdorf, T.D. Allison, and C.A. Sanders-Reed. 2015. Modeling with uncertain science: estimating mitigation credits from abating lead poisoning in Golden Eagles. Ecological Applications 25: 1518–1533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coggana, A., E. Buitelaarc, S.M. Whittend, and J. Bennett. 2013. Intermediaries in environmental offset markets, actions and incentives. Land Use Policy 32: 145–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Donlan, C.J. 2015. Proactive strategies for protecting species: pre-listing conservation and the Endangered Species Act. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Doswald, N., H.M. Barcellos, M. Jones, E. Pilla, and I. Mulder. 2012. Biodiversity offsets, voluntary and compliance regimes. A review of existing schemes, initiatives and guidance for financial institutions UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK UNEP FI, Geneva, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  15. Fairhead, J., M. Leach, and I. Scoones. 2012. Green grabbing: A new appropriation of nature? The Journal of Peseant Studies 39: 237–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gelcich, S., and C.J. Donlan. 2015. Incentivizing biodiversity conservation with artisanal fishing communities through territorial user rights and business model innovation. Conservation Biology 29(1076–1085): 1011. doi:10.1111/cobi12477.Google Scholar
  17. Gonçalves, B., A. Marques, A.M.V.D.M. Soares, and H.M. Pereira. 2015. Biodiversity offsets, from current challenges to harmonized metrics. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 14: 61–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Githiru, M., M.W. King, P. Bauche, C. Simon, J. Boles, C. Rindt, and R. Victurine. 2015. Should biodiversity offsets help finance underfunded protected areas? Biological Conservation 191: 819–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Maron, M., A. Gordon, B.G. Mackey, H. Possingham, and J. Watson. 2015. Conservation, stop misuse of biodiversity offsets. Nature 523: 401–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McAfee, K. 2012. The contradictory logic of global ecosystem services markets. Development and Change 43: 105–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McKenney, B.A., and J.M. Kiesecker. 2010. Policy development for biodiversity offsets, a review of offset frameworks. Environmental Management 45: 165–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Moreno-Mateos, D., M.E. Power, F.A. Comín, and R. Yockteng. 2012. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems. PLoS Biology 10: e1001247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Osborne, T., and C. Kiker. 2005. Carbon offsets as an economic alternative to large-scale logging: A case study in Guyana. Ecological Economics 52: 481–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pascoe, S., C. Wilcox, and C.J. Donlan. 2011. Biodiversity offsets: A cost-effective interim solution to seabird bycatch in fisheries? PLoS One 6(10): e25762. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Penca, J. 2013. Marketing the market: The ideology of market mechanisms for biodiversity conservation. Transnational Environmental Law 2: 235–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Quétier, F., and S. Lavorel. 2011. Assessing ecological equivalence in biodiversity offset schemes, key issues and solutions. Bilogical Conservation 144(12): 2991–2999. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.09.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rainey, H.J., E.H.B. Pollard, G. Dutson, J.M.M. Ekstrom, S.R. Livingstone, H.J. Temple, and J.D. Pilgrim. 2015. A review of corporate goals of No Net Loss and Net Positive Impact on biodiversity. Oryx 49: 232–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Robertson, M., and N. Hayden. 2008. Evaluation of a market in wetland credits: Entrepreneurial wetland banking in Chicago. Conservation Biology 22: 636–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Siikamäki, J., J.N. Sanchirico, and S.L. Jardine. 2012. Global economic potential for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from mangrove loss. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109: 14369–14374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stone, H. 2002. Graphically modeling stakeholder value. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 38: 1019–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. van Kooten, G.C., A.J. Eagle, J. Manley, and T. Smolak. 2004. How costly are carbon offsets? A meta-analysis of carbon forest sinks. Environmental Science & Policy 7: 239–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Villarroya, A., A.C. Barros, and J. Kisesecker. 2014. Policy development for environmental licensing and biodiversity offsets in Latin America. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107144.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Applied Ecology and Sustainability (CAPES) and Centro de Conservacion Marina Departamento de EcologiaPontificia Universidad Catolica de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Advanced Conservation StrategiesCordobaSpain
  3. 3.Bren School of Environmental Science and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  4. 4.Department of Natural ResourcesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  5. 5.Department of Ecology & Evolutionary BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations