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Biodiversity Offsets: Policy options for governments

An input paper for the IUCN Technical Study Group on Biodiversity Offsets

By Kerry ten Kate, Michael Crowe - Forest Trends
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The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the consideration of policy options by the IUCN Technical Study Group on biodiversity offsets and the subsequent Working Group, and to provide information more broadly to governments and their advisors. It is intended as a basic introduction to policy on No Net Loss (NNL) or a Net Gain of (NG) of biodiversity, and biodiversity offsets. Discussions of technical issues are explored in more depth in the companion piece (Pilgrim and Ekstrom, 2014). This paper reviews current information, but evidence is lacking as to the extent to which NNL/NG and offset policies are achieving their goals or contributing to better biodiversity outcomes in the jurisdictions where they exist. Bearing in mind these limitations, this paper aims to identify policy options at a general level in the anticipation of subsequent discussion and more evidence.