Biodiversity Offsetting policy - how to avoid net biodiversity loss

Biodiversity offset policies may inadvertently incentivise behaviours which actually accelerate biodiversity loss, according to new research. A study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology found that biodiversity is likely to be lost because the schemes are ineffectual, or because sites do not have long-term protection and therefore are only likely to achieve no net loss initially, and are then later degraded.

The research identifies four key dangers that could affect the success of biodiversity offsetting, and make recommendations for avoiding these 'perverse incentives' that could result in a net loss of biodiversity.

For more details see the European Commission Science for Environment Policy briefing below.