Land Use 2021 - Session 6


May 31, 2021 (Monday) - 3 to 4:30 PM MDT

This session has now taken place. Thank you to everyone who attended.


Session leader: Amy Taylor, Green Analytics

This session will take the concept of offsetting beyond the simple balancing of negative and positive environmental impacts for a single project and look at how offsetting can lay the groundwork for other market-based environmental management tools.

Under appropriate conditions the use of quantifiable units of environmental gain or loss may give rise to a market in such units in which economic values are reflected, bridging the worlds of economy and environment.

This session will explore the conditions, risk and potential of such advanced approaches.


  • Amy Taylor, Green Analytics (no presentation)
  • George Kelly, Bespoke Mitigation Partners
  • Conor Gillespie, Catalyst Companies 
  • Marianne Darbi, Hochschule Geisenheim University
    Paper: Lessons Learned from Habitat Banking in Germany
  • John Seidel, New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

This session has now taken place. Thank you to everyone who attended.


Summary report - download the full report (all the sessions in a written form)




Session Leader: Amy Taylor

Amy is the Director of Operations for Green Analytics. She has completed numerous projects on a range of topics related to ecological services and carbon storage, habitat conservation, conservation offsets, conservation banking and market-based and economic policy instruments. Amy has led numerous projects involving the quantification and valuation of ecological services including projects for Shell Canada, Daishowa-Marubeni International (DMI), the City of Guelph, the Credit Valley Conservation Authority and Forests Ontario. Amy brings experience conducting natural capital assessments and valuation as well as substantial work related to sustainability indicators and the collection, prioritization and monetization of social, economic and environmental indicators. She was a lead researcher on pioneering indicator work in which a genuine progress indicator (an alternative measure of well-being to that of traditional measures, such as the gross domestic product) was developed for the province of Alberta. Amy has worked and consulted with an array of other groups including governments at all levels, industry and non-government organizations.

Presenter: George Kelly

Mr. Kelly is a graduate of Tulane University (B.A.) and a cum laude JD and MSL (Masters in Environmental Law) graduate of the Vermont Law School.  He is the founding member of Bespoke Mitigation Partners, a customized advisory and business and project incubation firm focused on environmental markets and nature-based solutions. He is also the Global Client Strategy Officer for Earth & Water Strategies with a focus on advising, navigating and unlocking the value of environmental assets.

A past board member and President of National Mitigation Banking Association (US) in 2009, Mr. Kelly was recently appointed by the USEPA Secretary to serve on EPA’s Environmental Finance Advisory Board (2020-2022). Additionally, he was appointed to serve on the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP), the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Nutrient Trading Task Force, the Advisory Committee to the Water Quality Fund for the Chesapeake Bay, the National Water Quality Trading Alliance.

Presenter: Conor Gillespie

Mr. Gillespie is a restoration ecologist specializing in the restoration of aquatic resources at scale. With more than fifteen years of experience in stream, wetland, prairie, and woodland restoration, he has worked on permittee-responsible mitigation projects, mitigation banks, ILF projects and programs, and ecological offset projects across the United States. His experience includes managing one of the largest floodplain restoration projects in the northeast. The project included more than 24 miles of stream restoration and almost 40 acres of high-quality floodplain wetland re-establishment in an area with heavily competing land-use needs for both agriculture and energy extraction.

He started his work in the industry as a field laborer and worked his way up through being a small equipment operator, operations team manager, business manager, and regional general manager. He is now working as the founder of Catalyst Companies. His experience working in consulting companies, a private equity owner firm, and a legal benefit corporation, combined with his extensive operational and implementation background, gives him a uniquely broad and in-depth perspective on the restoration industry and its various facets.

Presenter: Marianne Darbi

Marianne Darbi is an environmental planner and researcher with many years of experience in landscape and spatial planning. Her research focuses on biodiversity conservation and management as well as impact mititgation in national and international contexts, sustainable land use, green economy and market-based instruments. She is particularly interested in policy and societal advice, as well as the practical and international relevance of research. She works as a professor for landscape planning and impact mitigation at Geisenheim University.

Marianne Darbi studied at Technische Universität Dresden (Germany) and École d'Architecture et de Paysage de Bordeaux (Frannce). She holds a diploma in landscape architecture and a PhD in engeneering (Dr.-Ing.), both from Technische Universität Dresden (Germany).

Prior to joining the Hochschule Geisenheim University (Germany) as professor for landscape planning and impact mitigation in June 2020, she worked at the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Urban and Regional Development in Dresden (Germany) from 2007 to 2016. In 2017-2020, she worked at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig at the interface of science, politics and society in the field of nature and biodiversity conservation and coordinated, among others, the German Network Forum on Biodiversity Research (NeFo).

In her research work, Marianne Darbi has focused on biodiversity offsets. This term refers to measures that are intended to compensate for the negative impacts of interventions in the environment, for example through construction or infrastructure projects. Her doctorate on the topic of Voluntary Biodiversity Offsets was awarded the Study Prize of the German Society for Environmental Impact Assessment in 2016.

Presenter: John Seidel

John is the Manager of the Offset Assessment & Systems Unit in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.  John is a Specialist in Conservation Program Design and Development with over 20 years experience working in government and non-government sectors.   

Since 2008, John has played a lead role in the design and implementation of innovative approaches to biodiversity assessment and offsetting through the implementation of programs such as biodiversity banking offsets scheme.  Most recently, John leads a team that supports the development and implementation of the NWS Biodiversity Offsets Scheme that commenced in 2017.  This includes development of the biodiversity assessment method and finalization of the NSW biobanking scheme.