The Workshop is part of a series designed to increase the knowledge of our field amongst all our staff, each of whom have their own interests and specialisms. Today Sarah introduced the subject of Biodiversity Offsetting, a quasi-economic justification for development, which, in theory, can lead to real gains for wildlife. The recent release of Defra’s Biodiversity Offsetting Green Paper and consultation inspired a lively debate on the issues, practical and philosophical.
Defra has described biodiversity offsets as conservation activities designed to give biodiversity benefits to compensate for losses – ensuring that when a development damages nature (and this damage cannot be avoided) new, bigger or better nature sites will be created. They are different from other types of ecological compensation as they need to show measurable outcomes that are sustained over time.