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Scoping Study for the Design and Use of Biodiversity Offsets in an English Context

Final Report to Defra

By Treweek et al. 2009
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In 2007, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) identified the need to explore new policy options, including market creation in biodiversity or incentives for biodiversity “such as biodiversity offsets”, particularly to reduce rates of loss of non-designated sites and features. In 2008, Defra commissioned a scoping study for the design and use of biodiversity offsets in an English context. The report reviews experience of biodiversity offsets worldwide; considers whether offsets would benefit biodiversity in England; assesses how offsets might complement existing policy; reviews some economic considerations that might influence the costs of offset arrangements; and discusses some changes that might be needed to increase use of offsets as a mechanism to compensate for biodiversity loss. Two BBOP members, Jo Treweek and Kerry ten Kate, were members of the study team, Jo being the lead author.