Achieving biodiversity benefits with offsets: Research gaps, challenges, and needs
- 846 Downloads
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.
KeywordsConservation Design Mitigation Offsets
We thank Financiamiento Basal FB-0002, nucleo-milenio initiative P10-033 and NC-120086 from the Ministerio de Economia, Fondecyt 1160145, The Walton Family Foundation and The Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship Program. We thank Veronica Ortiz and for support with the figures. We thank three anonymous reviewers that improved an earlier version of this paper.
- Bovarnick, A., C. Knight, and J. Stephenson. 2010. Habitat banking in Latin America and Caribbean: A feasibility assessment. United Nations Development Programme.Google Scholar
- Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme. 2009. Biodiversity Offset Implementation Handbook Washington, DC Retrieved December, 2014 from, www.forest-trendsorg/biodiversityoffsetprogram/guidelines/oihpdf.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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