Biodiversity Offsets

Effective Design and Implementation

image of Biodiversity Offsets

This report examines the key design and implementation features that need to be considered to ensure that biodiversity offset programmes are environmentally effective, economically efficient, and distributionally equitable. Biodiversity offsets are being increasingly used in a wide range of sectors as a mechanism to help compensate for the adverse effects caused by development projects in a variety of ecosystems. In this report, insights and lessons learned are drawn from more than 40 case studies from around the world, with an additional 3 in-depth country case studies from the United States, Germany and Mexico.


Compensatory mitigation and wetland banking in the United States

Established in the 1970s, the Compensatory Mitigation and Wetland Banking programme in the United States is the largest and longest running offsets programme in the world. It protects the waters of the United States by requiring developers to follow the mitigation hierarchy when proposed development projects cause adverse impacts for wetlands and streams. Implementation of the Compensatory Mitigation programme is characterised by strong participation of the private sector in supplying offsets in a market driven context. This chapter summarises the evolution of the Compensatory Wetlands Mitigation programme over its 40 years of implementation. It discusses the challenges faced in the design and implementation of the programme – including in the progression of mitigation banking – how they have been addressed, and concludes with the key lessons learned.


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