The Future of Biodiversity Offset Banking
First, it has been said before, but it bears repeating: mitigation (or offsetting) should never be the first action taken when conserving biodiversity in a land development setting. Indeed, it should be the last step in a so-called ‘mitigation hierarchy’, where the first order of business is to go to great lengths to avoid as many of the harmful impacts to biodiversity as possible. Only once it has been determined that the impacts are inevitable, should the project be undertaken. The second step is to minimize or reduce the extent of these impacts. Once the damage has been minimized, then – and only then – should the third step (mitigation or offsetting) come in. This book is only about one possible tool (biodiversity banking) aimed at that third step in the hierarchy. For this tool to be effective, however, the first two steps must be diligently and fully executed.