Perverse incentives risk undermining biodiversity offset policies

Gordon, A, Bull, J, Wilcox, C and Maron, M 2015, 'Perverse incentives risk undermining biodiversity offset policies', Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 532-537.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size
n2006051842.pdf Accepted Manuscript application/pdf 264.30KB
Title Perverse incentives risk undermining biodiversity offset policies
Author(s) Gordon, A
Bull, J
Wilcox, C
Maron, M
Year 2015
Journal name Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume number 52
Issue number 2
Start page 532
End page 537
Total pages 6
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Abstract Offsetting is emerging as an important but controversial approach for managing environment-development conflicts. Biodiversity offsets are designed to compensate for damage to biodiversity from development by providing biodiversity gains elsewhere. Here, we suggest how biodiversity offset policies can generate behaviours that exacerbate biodiversity decline, and identify four perverse incentives that could arise even from soundly designed policies. These include incentives for (i) entrenching or exacerbating baseline biodiversity declines, (ii) winding back non-offset conservation actions, (iii) crowding out of conservation volunteerism and (iv) false public confidence in environmental outcomes due to marketing offset actions as gains. Synthesis and applications. Despite its goal of improving biodiversity outcomes, there is potential for best-practice offsetting to achieve the opposite result. Reducing this risk requires coupling offset crediting baselines to measured trajectories of biodiversity change and understanding the potential interaction between offsetting and other environmental policies.
Subject Conservation and Biodiversity
Environment Policy
Wildlife and Habitat Management
Keyword(s) Baseline
Biodiversity offset
Carbon offset
Crediting baseline
Offset policy
Perverse incentive
Policy evaluation
DOI - identifier 10.1111/1365-2664.12398
Copyright notice © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society
ISSN 0021-8901
Additional Notes This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gordon, A, Bull, J, Wilcox, C and Maron, M 2015, 'Perverse incentives risk undermining biodiversity offset policies', Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 532-537., which has been published in final form athttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12398. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 64 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Altmetric details:
Access Statistics: 129 Abstract Views, 60 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Mon, 20 Apr 2015, 11:57:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us