Scoping study for the design and use of biodiversity offsets in an English context
The UK is committed to reduce current rates of loss of biodiversity by 2010 under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and has more challenging targets as an EU Member State, but available evidence suggests that decline in biodiversity is continuing to the point where essential ecosystem services may be compromised.
Offsets offer a potential new source of finance for biodiversity and a mechanism to integrate biodiversity into economic decision making. There is increasing interest in offsets as a mechanism for enhancing biodiversity in the wider countryside and for non designated sites and features.
DEFRA have commissioned a consortium including BBOP, TEC, Oxford Brookes University, Biodiversity by Design and the Scottish Agricultural College to examine and review existing experience on Biodiversity Offsetting. The next stage of the project will be the development of alternative options for implementation of a system of biodiversity offsets in England and Wales.