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BBOP: Business and Biodiversity Offset Program
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The Business and Biodiversity Offset Program (BBOP) is a partnership between companies, financial institutions, governments and conservation experts to explore biodiversity offsets. Forest Trends and Wildlife Conservation Society provide the Secretariat for BBOP.

BBOP envisages a future in which the mitigation hierarchy is rigorously applied worldwide to a high standard by governments and the private sector for projects in all sectors, emphasizing avoidance and minimization, to achieve no net loss and preferably a net gain of biodiversity.


Capacity Building & Training in the International Year of Biodiversity

Dear BBOP Learning Network,

Since you last heard from us, the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme has been moving full steam ahead in its second Phase. Our workplan includes: engagement with a broader range of companies, embracing many different biodiversity offset experiences; technical support and policy advice on biodiversity offsets; improved BBOP guidelines on design and implementation of biodiversity offsets; developing agreed protocols for verification and auditing; and training professionals to support companies and governments in biodiversity offset design and associated regulation and policy. It is this final item, Capacity Building and Training, which is the central theme of our first newsletter in 2010.

Why Capacity Building and Training? The case is made by the four publications featured in this edition. They indicate that, as more companies undertake biodiversity offsets, governments develop policy on them and banks start to include biodiversity offsets in their loan conditions, there’s a challenge:  they feel they lack the expertise they they need, and one of BBOP’s goals is to help. Susie Brownlie, who completed the BBOP User Needs Assessment, says, ‘Diverse groups from developed and developing countries are looking for more expertise to design, implement, regulate or evaluate biodiversity offsets.  It seems that there will be an eager audience for BBOP’s training courses.  The survey gave us a unique opportunity to listen to people’s perspectives, priorities and needs, so that we can design our materials to help them.’

The International Year of Biodiversity provides the perfect opportunity to get started.  BBOP is poised to put its extensive work from Phase I to good use in educating key actors and decision-makers, and we would like to involve you as we do so.

We hope you find the recent BBOP news, publications, and meetings highlighted in this edition of the BBOP Newsletter useful and relevant to your work.  Please send us articles, information and ideas to cover in our next edition, and feel free to contact us at bbop[at] with questions and feedback. We always enjoy hearing from you.

Best Wishes,

The BBOP Secretariat,

Kerry ten Kate, Ray Victurine, Patrick Maguire, Amrei von Hase, Tommie Herbert

In This Newsletter:






New BBOP Programme Materials

BBOP is working on a number of new publications, and the following short factsheets aim to help a variety of organisations make the case for undertaking biodiversity offsets and for joining BBOP.

General Information:
BBOP Flyer

For Companies:

Why biodiversity offsets? Why join BBOP?  

How can BBOP help companies designing biodiversity offsets?

For Governments and Intergovernmental Organizations:

Balancing Conservation and Development

For Financial Institutions:

Managing biodiversity risk

New BBOP Advisory Group Members: Phase II  

BBOP is making strides in meeting its goal to convene a global, multi-stakeholder forum for networking and reaching agreement on best practice for biodiversity offsets and conservation banking. The following are our recent additions to the BBOP Advisory Group. A warm and enthusiastic welcome to all our new BBOP colleagues! 

  • AngloGold Ashanti
  • Arup
  • Biodiversity Works
  • EcoTopia Science Institute, Nagoya University
  • Environmental Banc & Exchange
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development  
  • Markit Environmental Registry
  • Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development, and Spatial Planning, France
  • Mizuho Corporate Bank
  • Nollen Group
  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
  • Response Ability, Inc.

Click HERE to learn more about the BBOP Advisory Group & to view a full list of our current participants.

Biodiversity Offsets in Marine and Coastal Development
Ameer Abdullah
February 2010

“Biodiversity offsetting has helped promote conservation of endangered species on land, but can the same ideas be applied to the sea?" Ameer Abdulla lays out a process for developing marine-based biodiversity offsets.

In preparation for the Katoomba XVI in Palo Alto, California (link to below event description), Dr. Ameer Abdullah, BBOP Advisory Group member and Senior Specialist with the Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Science Programme of the IUCN Global Marine Programme prepared, ‘Biodiversity Offsets in Marine and Coastal Development’.  Dr. Abdullah’s article presents biodiversity offsets, hitherto a predominately land-based conservation tool, as an opportunity for business and civil society to collaborate in managing biodiversity and sustainable development in marine settings.

Ameer explores the following topics in depth: 
  • Scoring marine biodiversity
  • Assessing the attributes
  • Designing a marine offset
  • The future of marine biodiversity offsets
  • Emerging pilot projects
  • The expanding tool chest
To read the article on Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace: CLICK HERE

BBOP Assurance and Guidelines Working Groups Meeting

Cambridge UK, March 16-18

Members of two of BBOP’s working groups met at Clare College, Cambridge, UK. Inspired by a city which boasts the discovery of DNA, the home of Isaac Newton’s apple tree, and one of the most respected universities in the world, the team felt that no net loss of biodiversity should surely be achievable, and fearlessly tackled some tricky issues in biodiversity offset science & standards over a three-day joint conference.

The first day focused exclusively on Assurance:  how can one tell that a biodiversity offset meets the standards set out in the BBOP Principles? Two draft papers were presented:  a discussion document containing the draft Principles, Criteria and Indicators (P/C/I) framework, and a Draft Assurance Recording Form.   A panel of experts with a track record in verification, certification and the development of standards shared their experiences with BBOP members on assurance and standard development.  The participants discussed a possible P/C/I framework and made a terrific start to work which BBOP plans to accomplish by July 2012, which will involve a significant consultation period to gather opinion and advice from a wide range of people.   

The next day was a combined meeting of the BBOP Assurance and Guidelines working groups. Members of The Ambatovy Project described their experience in biodiversity offset design, and provided feedback on their use of BBOP’s methodologies and initial draft approaches to assurance.  The group then explored a range of options for how BBOP could work on the controversial issue of thresholds for impacts not capable of being offset.  The group also heard from a number of experts from around the world working on ‘loss-gain calculations’ (determining what kind of offset, or what scale is needed to achieve no net loss).  There was an interesting presentation from a UK aggregates company that has applied some BBOP approaches in a comparatively small project in a very simple and quick manner.  Participants discussed a broad range of methodologies for undertaking loss-gain calculations and decided how to move ahead with further work on this core element of offset design.  The sessions also took time to seek advice from the companies present as to how the Assurance and Guidelines workstreams could best help business.  

The morning session on the final day focused on how the current BBOP guidelines address socioeconomic and cultural issues.   Finally, the group ran through a range of other topics it will tackle to July 2012: from agricultural, marine and freshwater offsets, to the design of ‘multiple benefit offsets’, which integrate carbon, water and other aspects with biodiversity. 

BBOP at IAIA 2010

30th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment
6 – 11 April 2010, International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG)
Geneva, Switzerland 

Building on BBOP sessions at earlier conferences of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) in Seoul and Accra, this year BBOP contributed to a session on biodiversity offsets at the IAIA 2010 annual conference held in Geneva from 6-11 April. The session was chaired by Helen Byron from RSPB.

The session, which was attended by around 40 people, started with an introduction to BBOP from Helen Byron.  She outlined BBOP’s structure, pilot projects and outputs, BBOP's definition and goal of biodiversity offsets, and key principles.  She also highlighted mechanisms for implementing offsets, integrating offsets into planning via impact assessment and the BBOP priorities to 2012. (Click HERE for presentation in PDF).

Helen’s introduction was followed by four presentations offering diverse perspectives on biodiversity offsets:

  • Ambatovy Project: from impact assessment to offsetting – a presentation by Paul Andrianaivomahefa on one of the BBOP pilot projects
  • New biodiversity offset strategies: “Earth banking” and “Satoyama banking” – by Dr Akira Tanaka from Tokyo City University, Japan Presentation in PDF
  • Stakeholder views on offsets and their use in EIA in Western Australia by Dr Garry Middle from Curtin University Presentation in PDF
  • Compensation and restoration: Quantitative Methods by Leonardo Marotta from Entropia Snc consultants in Italy Presentation in PDF
IAIA10 focused on the following sectors that have the potential for sustainable investment:
  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Cities
  • Tourism
  • Transport
For full event details:

The Use of Market-Based Instruments for Biodiversity Protection: The Case of Habitat Banking
Technical Report for the European Commission DG Environment
Led by: Economics For The Environment Consultancy Ltd (eftec) & the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IIEP); Several members of the BBOP Advisory Group (Kerry ten Kate, Jo Treweek, Jon Ekstrom and Josh Bishop) were members of the project team.

This research project examined the potential use of habitat banking in the EU as an economic instrument for biodiversity protection. This report identifies a range of information and experience with habitat banking from around the world, and from economic theory provides an institutional analysis for practical implementation. It aims to guide future European policy options.

The report is organized in eleven sections:

  • Section 1 outlines the objectives of the project and lists key terms and abbreviations;
  • Section 2 reviews the institutional and policy context of use of market based instruments in biodiversity policy in Europe;
  • Section 3 reviews types of market based instruments and their current policy applications;
  • Section 4 describes the theory behind market based instruments of biodiversity offsets and habitat banking;
  • Section 5 reviews Europe’s legal framework in which habitat banking would need to operate;
  • Section 6 examines the institutional framework in which habitat banking could operate;
  • Section 7 summarizes worldwide experience on habitat banking (which is covered in detailed case studies in the case studies Appendix);
  • Section 8 analyses evidence on potential supply and demand for habitat credits in Europe;
  • Section 9 summarizes the key design features of habitat banking identified from Sections 2 – 7;
  • Section 10 outlines potential options for implementing a system in the EU, and
  • Section 11 draws conclusions from this work and outlines suggested next steps in the research.
To read this report in its entirety: CLICK HERE.
A summary report of this work, including an executive summary and recommendations is also available

Biodiversity offsets and the mitigation hierarchy: A review of current application in the banking sector
A study completed on behalf of the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme and the UNEP Finance Initiative by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
March 2010

Some industries have a direct impact on biodiversity, whilst others are reliant on ecosystem services to support their supply chains. Through its investments and loans to these businesses, the financial industry has an indirect but influential link to biodiversity issues in these and other sectors.

This study was jointly commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP), to explore the following themes:

  • Familiarity and awareness among the financial sector of the biodiversity mitigation hierarchy and biodiversity offsets;
  • Corporate policy approaches of banks in understanding and addressing biodiversity issues;
  • Roles and responsibilities within banks on the management of biodiversity risks and opportunities; and
  • The extent to which tools, resources and training are used in the management of biodiversity risks and opportunities.
The PwC Sustainability & Climate Change team was selected by BBOP and UNEP FI to conduct analysis based on 28 discussions with banks, environmental consultants, NGOs and bank clients.

The study findings draw out the following four main conclusions:
  • The finance sector is at a relatively early stage in understanding, assessing and managing biodiversity risks;
  • Key business drivers in the financial services industry are risk-based and primarily reputational;
  • Bank policy frameworks and procedures seem to lack a broader, strategic consideration of biodiversity risks; and
  • Whilst the implementation of a biodiversity management framework is largely focused at the asset level, the application of the mitigation hierarchy and offsets is in its infancy.
Click here to read the entire publication, including an executive summary:: 040310.pdf

State of Biodiversity Markets: Offset and Compensation Programs Worldwide
Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace - Becca Madsen, Nathaniel Carroll and Kelly Moore Brands
March 2010

A few weeks ago, Ecosystem Marketplace released a report on the 'State of Biodiversity Markets: Offset and Compensation Programs Worldwide.'  This report provides the status and trends of biodiversity offset and compensatory mitigation programmes by geographical region. In each section, the report summarizes the total active programmes and developing activities, and broad metrics like total known payments and land area protected or restored.  In each region, the authors analyze the characteristics of offset programmes—what drives the programme, how offsets are created, who the buyers and sellers are, and what the unit of credit is. Finally, they look at recent developments in nascent and existing programmes in each region. The report was a collaborative effort a year in the making, and aims to fill a critical information gap, helping to move towards a transparent and equitable marketplace for biodiversity. A main finding of the report is that transparency is a key issue in biodiversity offset and compensation programs, with only 20% of the 39 active programmes providing data on area or dollar volume of biodiversity conservation.  As these markets develop, the Ecosystem Marketplace team plans to continue to report on their progress. The report complements EM’s initiative, which is the first system to track species credit trading in the United States.

Download full report:

Ecosystem Marketplace story on the report

Blog/ Podcast of presentation on the report

The Ecosystem Marketplace team would love to hear your feedback on the report as they plan follow-up analysis on activity in biodiversity markets. Please forward all comments to:

User Needs Assessment: Capacity Building & Training on Biodiversity Offsets
Prepared for the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme By Susie Brownlie
7 April 2010

BBOP concluded its first four years of work in July 2009.  To inform its work plan up to July 2012, BBOP commissioned a User Needs Assessment to understand, through a series of interviews, who might be interested in, and/or need training on biodiversity offsets, what kind of training they would like, and what length, content and format the training courses should have.  A questionnaire was prepared and sent out to a range of potential stakeholders.  Seventy-six completed questionnaires were received and analyzed, and 28 follow-up interviews were conducted to obtain an in-depth perspective.

Click to read the
Executive Summary.


International Workshop on Innovative Financial Mechanisms
27 – 29 January 2010
Bonn, Germany 

This workshop was organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in collaboration with The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Secretariat located at UNEP.  Participants assessed the status of knowledge and related use of innovative financial mechanisms identified by the CBD Conference of the Parties, and developed policy options for advancing them, for consideration by the CBD.

The issues considered included:

  • Promotion of payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes that are consistent and in harmony with the CBD and other relevant international obligations;
  • Biodiversity offset mechanisms;
  • The opportunities arising from environmental fiscal reforms, including innovative taxation models and fiscal incentives for achieving CBD objectives;
  • The opportunities presented by innovative financial mechanisms, such as markets for green products, business-biodiversity partnerships and new forms of charity.

The final report from the Bonn meeting will eventually be posted as an Information document on:

Katoomba XVI – California: Building a Blueprint to Harness New Investment for the Protection of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services
Moore Foundation, Palo Alto, CA
February 9-10, 2010

The oceans provide a great many critical but undervalued ecosystem services that are nearing thresholds for healthy functioning, putting coastal populations ever more at risk. Given the failure of many conventional management measures and the insufficient resources available for effective management, the time is ripe for the development of new market-based tools. This first-ever Marine Katoomba Meeting garnered the growing interest in finding innovative solutions to conserve our valuable marine ecosystem services. BBOP Advisory Group member Carlos Muñoz Piña, of the National Institute of Ecology, Mexico, presented, "Lessons Learned from Mexico's National Terrestrial PES Law for Developing Marine PES Law".

Full Event Profile:

Opportunity: United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre: Senior Programme Officer Business, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Apply by 26 April 2010 

UNEP-WCMC is seeking an experienced, qualified and dynamic individual to support the development and implementation of new projects focused on collaboration with business.

This enthusiastic project manager will work in close collaboration with other programmes at UNEP-WCMC to promote the role of business in biodiversity conservation and assist in the implementation of the programme strategy. The successful applicant will have extensive experience in developing and managing biodiversity conservation and/or environmental sustainability projects, and they will have relevant work experience managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders. Holding a Masters in Environmental Science, International Business or a related area they will have a solid grasp of international biodiversity conservation and sustainable use policies and initiatives.

Applicants who meet the requirements are invited, by 26 April 2010, to complete and send an application form attaching their CV, and a covering letter explaining why they are suitable for this role, to recruitment[at] For further information on this role, including the application form, please visit the jobs page on our website:

National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking Conference
May 3 – 6, Hilton Austin
Austin, Texas

The National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking Conference is an opportunity to learn and network with those involved in the arenas of mitigation, conservation and ecosystem markets/ banking. This 3 day event will bring together nearly 400 key players in the industry for valuable workshops and discussions. Quality hands-on seminars will be incorporated into programming.

For more information:

Working Group on Review of Implementation of the CBD
May 24-28, United Nations Complex, Gigiri, Nairobi 

The Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI) of the Convention on Biological Diversity considers progress in the implementation of the Convention, its Strategic Plan and achievements leading up to the 2010 target.  It will make recommendations for the CBD Parties to consider at COP10 in October (see below).  WGRI3 will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 24 to 28 May 2010, back-to-back with the fourteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA).  Biodiversity offsets will be discussed under two agenda items:  Engagement of business (see UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/3/2/ADD2) and Policy Options Concerning Innovative Financial Mechanisms (see UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/3/8). There will also be a side event, led by BBOP, offering training on biodiversity offsets on Monday 24 May at 1:15pm. 

The documents are available at:

2010 Katoomba Meeting XVII – Southeast Asia
Taking the Lead: Payments for Ecosystem Services in Southeast Asia
Hanoi, Vietnam, June 23 – 26, 2010

Through-out Southeast Asia there is increasing regional interest in market-based conservation strategies, including payments for ecosystem services (PES). Carbon markets, both regulated and voluntary, have grown rapidly and offer opportunities for new investment in rural regions of SE Asia. The emergence of opportunities for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) makes it even more important for countries in the region to build their capacity and put in place ‘REDD readiness’ strategies. Many SE Asian nations face a range of water-related challenges, including threats to reliable flows of water and the marine environment. 

The Katoomba Group seeks to address key challenges for developing markets for ecosystem services, from enabling legislation to the establishment of new market institutions, to strategies of pricing and marketing, and performance monitoring. In response to these opportunities and challenges, the 2010 South East Asia Katoomba Group meeting offers a unique opportunity to further develop in the region:

  • REDD Readiness Strategies
  • Payment for Watershed Services
  • Payment for Marine Ecosystem Services
  • Biodiversity Markets and Market-like Structures
Related to biodiversity, the meeting will focus on how to reach further than public finance for biodiversity conservation, and how markets can be used to achieve more and better cost effective conservation outcomes from infrastructure development. The conference is brought to you by the Government of Vietnam, The Katoomba Group, Forest Trends and the Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Programme. 

Check: for more information in the future.

1st Global Business Of Biodiversity Symposium: Managing business risk, releasing opportunity
Excel - International Conference Centre
London, England, July 13-14th 2010

The First Global Business of Biodiversity Symposium (GBOB) has been established with the endorsement of the UK Government, the European Union and the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat.  The Global Business of Biodiversity Symposium will be a meeting place for Government, Business and NGO’s operating across all industrial sectors. Delegates will gain insight into emerging issues and policy trends linked to the rapid global decline in biodiversity and ecosystem services and their implications for business.

The conference will demonstrate to business how it is impossible to address climate change, water scarcity and human rights without considering biodiversity. It will inform dialogue and debate in the run up to the tenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan. It will provide business with the first opportunity to hear the results of, and respond to, the first global review of 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ synthesis for business (TEEB D3).

With leaders gathered from across the globe, this will be an important networking opportunity for business and biodiversity offset professionals. 

For further information go to: http:///
Telephone John Brown – Events Director +441480 439283

Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10)
18 - 29 October 2010, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

In the International Year of Biodiversity, and taking stock of the 2010 target, the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity will evaluate progress with implementation of the Convention. Negotiations on an international regime on access and benefit-sharing are still underway, and an anticipated result of COP10 is the adoption of an instrument on Access and Benefit – Sharing.

Other issues for consideration:

  • Inland waters biodiversity
  • Marine and coastal biodiversity
  • Mountain biodiversity
  • Protected areas
  • Sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Biodiversity and climate change
COP 10 will include a high-level ministerial segment from 27 to 29 October 2010.
More information and documents are available at:

- The BBOP Secretariat Team
(Kerry ten Kate, Patrick Maguire, Amrei von Hase, Ray Victurine, Sebastian Winkler)