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Biodiversity Offsets Make the Grade in UK’s Natural Environment White Paper

Daniel Kandy

The UK’s Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs released their "Natural Environment White Paper" today, which will guide environmental policy in the country.

NOTE: This article appeared first on EKO-ECO Blog.   Find the original post here.

7 June 2011 | The UK’s Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs released their “Natural Environment White Paper” today, which will guide environmental policy in the country. Unsurprisingly the White Paper strongly aligns environmental protection and restoration with economic growth, especially considering it follows on the heels of the Natural Ecosystem Assessment, which found that the UK is consistently undervaluing its ecosystem services.

The possibility of including a biodiversity offset scheme has been thrown around recently, and sure enough it was included as an upcoming program. Like we predicted, the approach to biodiversity offsets is completely voluntary. The government is supportive of the voluntary approach as a way to involve local authorities, communities and businesses, while avoiding the kind of “burdensome regulation” that is anathema to the current government.

The offset program will be tested in a two-year test phase with Natural England providing guidance to pilot areas across the country. The program is set to start in spring of 2012.

Daniel Kandy is a research fellow at Ecosystem Marketplace, focusing on Forest Carbon and Biodiversity markets. He recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in anthropology, focusing on land use and agriculture. He can be reached at dkandy@ecosystemmarketplace.com.

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