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
Grassland
Habitat quality
Conservation planning
Global sensitivity analysis
Uncertainty
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.07.021
Copyright notice © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 1364-8152
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