Justina C. Ray, Ph.D.
Executive Director & Senior Scientist
Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
Biodiversity: the variability among living
organisms within species, between species,
and between ecosystems (CBD 1992)
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005): 15 of the 24 ecosystem
services evaluated have degraded over the past half century
Biodiversity is integral to many of the highranking problems on the public radar screen
Despite the widely
acknowledged
challenges in achieving
a full recovery of the
structure, functioning
and composition of
d...
 Conventional
 Justification
 Applicable

Mitigation

for a bad development project
in all circumstances

 Comprehensi...
Minimise =
reduce harm
Mitigate =
alleviate residual
harm
Offset =
compensate for
residual, unavoidable
harm.
 Biodiversity

gains are comparable to losses
from residual effects

 Biodiversity

gains are additional to
outcomes tha...
Currency

Metrics for measuring biodiversity

Baseline

Standard against which to measure no net loss

Equivalence

Tradin...
BBOP 2012
Pilgrim et al. 2013
BBOP 2012
 Understanding

of probable negative
ecological and social impacts in a
regional context
 Adequate baseline information ...
World Resources Institute
Intact Forest Landscapes

© Global Forest Watch Canada
Pulp and Paper Tenures

© Global Forest Watch Canada
All Logging Tenures

© Global Forest Watch Canada
Tenures + Roads + Oil & Gas

© Global Forest Watch Canada
20077

20107

Since the discovery in 2007 of world-class chromite-nickel-coppergold deposits, there are currently at least...
Unuk River

M. Fay
M. Fay
A biodiversity offset should be designed and
implemented in a landscape context to achieve the
expected measurable conserv...


Biodiversity is a complex, difficult-to-measure,
and non-interchangeable resource, which
challenges offsetting: scienti...
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada
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The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada

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Written by Justina Ray, Executive Director and Chief Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada

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Transcript of "The Ecological Context for Biodiversity Offsetting in Canada"

  1. 1. Justina C. Ray, Ph.D. Executive Director & Senior Scientist Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
  2. 2. Biodiversity: the variability among living organisms within species, between species, and between ecosystems (CBD 1992)
  3. 3. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005): 15 of the 24 ecosystem services evaluated have degraded over the past half century
  4. 4. Biodiversity is integral to many of the highranking problems on the public radar screen
  5. 5. Despite the widely acknowledged challenges in achieving a full recovery of the structure, functioning and composition of damaged ecosystems, policies that permit the compensated loss of natural habitat -“biodiversity offsets” -have multiplied internationally over the past decade
  6. 6.  Conventional  Justification  Applicable Mitigation for a bad development project in all circumstances  Comprehensive A Panacea environmental protection
  7. 7. Minimise = reduce harm Mitigate = alleviate residual harm Offset = compensate for residual, unavoidable harm.
  8. 8.  Biodiversity gains are comparable to losses from residual effects  Biodiversity gains are additional to outcomes that would have resulted in the absence of the project  Biodiversity gains are lasting and protected against risk of failure  Sufficient ecological information
  9. 9. Currency Metrics for measuring biodiversity Baseline Standard against which to measure no net loss Equivalence Trading like for like Longevity How long will they endure, especially in a dynamic environment Time lag Temporal gap between development impacts occurring and the benefits of offsetting Uncertainty Will the scheme work Reversibility Whether or not impacts can be reversed Thresholds Defining point beyond which offsets are not acceptable
  10. 10. BBOP 2012
  11. 11. Pilgrim et al. 2013
  12. 12. BBOP 2012
  13. 13.  Understanding of probable negative ecological and social impacts in a regional context  Adequate baseline information is required  Regional-scale assessment of risk and impact, analysis of cumulative impacts  Integration of risk with other elements of feasibility  Consideration of biodiversity offsets
  14. 14. World Resources Institute
  15. 15. Intact Forest Landscapes © Global Forest Watch Canada
  16. 16. Pulp and Paper Tenures © Global Forest Watch Canada
  17. 17. All Logging Tenures © Global Forest Watch Canada
  18. 18. Tenures + Roads + Oil & Gas © Global Forest Watch Canada
  19. 19. 20077 20107 Since the discovery in 2007 of world-class chromite-nickel-coppergold deposits, there are currently at least 35 mineral exploration and mining companies with active claims in the Ring of Fire.
  20. 20. Unuk River M. Fay
  21. 21. M. Fay
  22. 22. A biodiversity offset should be designed and implemented in a landscape context to achieve the expected measurable conservation outcomes taking into account available information on the full range of biological, social and cultural values of biodiversity and supporting an ecosystem approach.
  23. 23.  Biodiversity is a complex, difficult-to-measure, and non-interchangeable resource, which challenges offsetting: scientific evidence for success is unfavourable  Canada is generally absent framework(s) that enable best practices offsetting principles  This can and will promote BAU by another name  Ultimately, the value of any offset guidance depends on its integration with higher-level biodiversity policies/plans that clarify assumptions, specify conservation goals, address cumulative impacts, and are carefully monitored.
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