Land Use 2021: full summary now available
We're pleased to present a summary pdf of our international hit web series - Land Use 2021: A Place for Biodiversity Offsets.
To help advance thinking, policy and practice respecting biodiversity offsetting, in April through June 2021 the Alberta Land Institute presented a series of web-based presentations and discussions to improve understanding regarding current thinking and good practices in offsetting. We engaged academic experts, practitioners, policy-makers and stakeholders in insightful discussions that aim to link the theory and practice of offsetting for biodiversity. Our goal in presenting this series was not to promote offsetting for biodiversity nor to discourage it, but to help delineate when offsetting might be appropriate and how it should be pursued in those circumstances. We hope we have contributed to better thinking and use of offsetting as one means of creating a better environmental future.
Land Use 2021 is an 8-part web series. You are welcome to explore the recordings, presentations (with speaker permission) and papers (publicly available, from our speakers), hosted on each of the web pages:
And now, there's a summary document to read.
Biodiversity offsetting is the process of intentionally producing environmental gains to counter balance the negative impacts of development on nature, with a goal of no net loss or net gain for biodiversity. Embedded as the final stage in a hierarchy of mitigation approaches, it is increasingly used as a policy tool in an attempt to reconcile development and environmental protection, both in Canada and many other countries around the world.
The last 20 years have seen an explosion of interest in the topic in policy circles, among development planners and in academia. Organizations such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme, the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative and the International Association for Impact Assessment have worked to articulate a set of principles and good practices to properly and effectively apply offsetting. Despite this, the offsetting remains a risky and controversial approach to environmental protection. Many aspects of it are poorly understood or inconsistently applied.