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.


German Impact Mitigation Regulation in Hessen

Compensation for development-related biodiversity loss in Germany has been required since the 1970s, making it one of the longest running offsets programmes in the world. Compensation measures were originally carried out by the developing firm itself and were required to maintain strong links between the biodiversity lost through the development project and the compensation. This approach led to highly fragmented and costly offsets and caused the system of compensation to be reformed. The resultant Impact Mitgation Regulations are the foundation for the German biodiversity compensation system. The reforms relaxed the requirements regarding spatial, temporal and functional coherence with the objective of improving biodiversity outcomes and streamlining the compensation process. This chapter reviews the progression of German Impact Mitigation Regulations with a focus on the federal state of Hessen. It summarises the design and implementation features of the programme – including the important public sector role in biobanking – and concludes with insights and key lessons learned from the Hessian experience.


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