Biodiversity offsets seek to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of development projects – to achieve “No Net Loss” of biodiversity. These conservation activities can also affect the supply of ecosystem services and the socio-economic benefits they provide to people. Sometimes offsets create positive co-benefits for ecosystem services and people. Other times, negative trade-offs may emerge, for example, when offsets restrict human access to the conserved site. In an attempt to enhance offsetting outcomes for people, some policies and projects are now designed to support ecosystem services. This research project aims to examine whether these policies do indeed achieve positive co-benefits for ecosystem services, while also successfully offsetting the development impacts on biodiversity. We also examine opportunities to improve current offsetting practice, using a variety of case studies from around the world.

Sonter et al. (2018) “Biodiversity offsets may miss opportunities to mitigate impacts on ecosystem services” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16(3) 143-148. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/fee.1781

Project members

Laura Sonter

Dr Laura Sonter

Senior Researcher
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Professor Martine Maron

ARC Future Fellow
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Deputy Director
Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science