Assessing the impacts of biodiversity offset policies

Gordon, A, Langford, W, Todd, J, White, M, Mullerworth, D and Bekessy, S 2011, 'Assessing the impacts of biodiversity offset policies', Environmental Modelling & Software, vol. 26, no. 12, pp. 1481-1488.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Assessing the impacts of biodiversity offset policies
Author(s) Gordon, A
Langford, W
Todd, J
White, M
Mullerworth, D
Bekessy, S
Year 2011
Journal name Environmental Modelling & Software
Volume number 26
Issue number 12
Start page 1481
End page 1488
Total pages 8
Publisher Pergamon
Abstract In response to the increasing loss of native vegetation and biodiversity, a growing number of countries have adopted 'offsetting' policies that seek to balance local habitat destruction by restoring, enhancing and/or protecting similar but separate habitat. Although these policies often have a stated aim of producing a 'net gain' or 'no net loss' in environmental benefits, it is challenging to determine the potential impacts of a policy and if, or when, it will achieve its objectives. In this paper we address these questions with a general approach that uses predictive modelling under uncertainty to quantify the ecological impacts of different offset policies. This is demonstrated with a case study to the west of Melbourne, Australia where a proposed expansion of Melbourne's urban growth boundary would result in a loss of endangered native grassland, requiring offsets to be implemented as compensation. Three different offset policies were modelled: i) no restrictions on offset location, ii) offset locations spatially restricted to a strategically defined area and iii) offset locations spatially and temporally restricted, requiring all offsets to be implemented before commencing development. The ecological impact of the policies was determined with a system model that predicts future changes in the extent and condition of native grassland.
Subject Environment Policy
Keyword(s) Policy modelling
Biodiversity offsets
Habitat quality
Conservation planning
Global sensitivity analysis
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.07.021
Copyright notice © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 1364-8152
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 45 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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