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Mitigation Banking: Securing No Net Loss to Biodiversity?

By William Hill, David Hill - Latimer, Latimer
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Environmental advisors and planners are frequently confronted with the issue of ecological
mitigation for losses due to development, the uncertainty over whether the proposed
compensation is adequate and how the mitigation will function over time. The advantages of
acquiring and retaining land in advance for ecological mitigation required by subsequent
development has been demonstrated primarily in the USA where the process, termed Mitigation
Banking, was pioneered for the conservation of wetlands. It has been in operation for over 15
years and is considered a valid approach in the regulatory framework. Elsewhere it may be
termed Conservation Banking, Habitat Banking or Biodiversity Offsets and has been applied in
a number of other countries (ten Kate, Bishop & Bayon, 2004).