Individuals, households and communities value and rely on biodiversity and ecosystem services for their livelihoods and quality of life. They are affected by governments’ policies development and conservation.  They can also be affected by specific development projects (e.g. a new road or mine) and any mitigation measures – including biodiversity offsets – put in place to address the projects’ impacts on biodiversity.  The knowledge of local communities and indigenous peoples about biodiversity can help set appropriate scientific targets for conservation. Citizens and community groups can help shape policy and also the mitigation measures for specific projects, and be aware of tools to help ensure they are not left any worse off as a result of projects and mitigation measures. They can monitor biodiversity and the results of development and conservation activities to see whether commitments to Biodiversity Net Gain are being met, and they can hold governments, companies and banks to account for their performance.

This page helps citizens and community groups think through specific issues related to best practice in mitigating the impacts of development on biodiversity and how they can be involved.