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Conservation Research Institute


Next Wednesday, join the Conservation Science Group Lab Lunch where Leon Bennun will be talking about: ‘No net loss’ for biodiversity – moving from project offsets to national and global goals. 

Abstract: Biodiversity offsets are the last step in the mitigation hierarchy – they compensate for the residual impacts of development projects that cannot be feasibly avoided, minimised or restored. Offsets aim to achieve no net loss (NNL), at minimum, for specified biodiversity features. No net loss or net gain conditions are central to the safeguard frameworks of many international lenders, and established in policy in an increasing number of countries. For a development project, achieving NNL leaves biodiversity no worse off than if the project hadn’t taken place. But this is often assessed against a baseline of ongoing biodiversity decline, effectively locking in the ongoing loss. Project NNL thus does not equate to NNL at landscape or jurisdictional scales.

The Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) Working Group on compensatory compensation explored conditions for achieving NNL at scale, and the role of project-level compensation. I will highlight the key findings published in three recent papers. A new framework aligns compensation for biodiversity loss with jurisdictional biodiversity targets (Simmonds et al. 2020 Cons. Letters) and sets out the pathways and approaches that are appropriate in different contexts. Setting national targets to achieve a global NNL or net gain goal (e.g. as proposed in the draft CBD post-2020 framework) needs to consider national variation in ecosystem depletion as well as levels of human development (Maron et al. 2020 Nature Ecol. Evol.). Finally, case studies from Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mozambique (Sonter et al. 2020 Nature Comms), using spatial simulation models, illustrate the limitations of relying on compensation alone to achieve landscape-scale NNL, and the need to emphasise impact avoidance and address unregulated impacts.

Zoom details:

Meeting ID: 115 814 437
Password: 022424

Wednesday, 15 July, 2020 - 13:00