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Biodiversity Offset Website Starts Up

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Posted on 17th February 2012

Trading platform for UK biodiversity offsets launched

Just checking through the Ends Report for this week and came across this - "Trading platform for UK biodiversity offsets launched 16 February 2012, 18:12. An online platform for trading UK biodiversity offsetting has been launched by the Environment Bank and Mission Markets, a US firm specialising in markets for trading ecosystem services. The platform could facilitate environment department (DEFRA) pilots of biodiversity offsets, due to begin in April. Offsets are used to compensate for the ecological impacts of development, where these cannot be avoided or mitigated (ENDS Report, April 2011). A developer would pay for an offset that restores or creates habitat elsewhere, and is expected to deliver measurable outcomes. Five wildlife sites offering offsets have been registered on the platform so far. They cover 303 hectares and are managed by Ribble Valley Borough Council, NGO Pond Conservation, the Forestry Commission and the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust".

It will be very interesting to see how this pans out - will developers indeed be able to trade in mitigation to offset their impact on site by committing to improve another to compensate? On the surface I reckon this seems a sensible idea but I do worry that wildlife and habitats will be pushed out of the more development intensive urban areas where mitigation is harder to achieve and end up concentrated around rural nature reserves......

Jonathan Taylor

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