Defra consultation on Biodiversity Offsetting in England

Today Defra launched a further consultation to help shape the natural environment. As part of the Defra Business Plan, the department have committed to assessing the scope for actions to offset the impacts of development on biodiversity in England.

They are seeking written comments of 2000 words or less to address a range of issues, including:

  • Potential benefits and disadvantages of using offsetting to manage the impacts of development on biodiversity
  • Alternative strategies to achieve the government’s targets ‘no net biodiversity loss’, including local initatives
  • Guiding priniciples for the use of offsetting in England
  • Mechanisms to integrate offsetting into a revised planning process
  • Provision, establishment and monitoring of offset sites
  • Costs associated with offsetting the impacts of development
  • Organisations and interested individuals with relevant expertise are welcome to submit contributions, but comments must be received by the end of January 2011. Full details of how to take part in the consultation are available via the Defra Biodiversity Offsetting website. Views gathered from this process will feed into a wider consultation on the Natural Environment White Paper, due to be released in Spring 2011.

    Biodiversity Offsetting is also the focus of the ‘Towards no net loss and beyond’ workshop series currently being held by the Natural Capital Initiative (NCI). The final workshop in the series, entitled ‘Designing a system to offset for the residual impacts of terrestrial development on ecosystem service provision’, will be held on 7th December at the British Ecological Society. Reports from previous biodiversity offsetting workshops, and further information on the NCI are available via their website.