Can biodiversity offsets help the rural population?

Biodiversity offsets are conservation actions with measurable in situ conservation outcomes that compensate for a project?s significant residual impacts on biodiversity after appropriate prevention and mitigation measures.  Their goal is ?no net loss?, or, preferably, a net gain of biodiversity with respect to structure, and ecosystem function, including livelihood aspects.  Biodiversity offsets should also ensure that local people are no worse off as a result of the presence of the project, and preferably demonstrably better off.  To achieve no net loss of biodiversity, it is important to address local communities? biodiversity-related livelihood needs (e.g. for food, energy and medicinal plants). Biodiversity offsets can help local communities to get involved in planning at the national and landscape levels and encourage better participatory land-use planning.
 
Kerry ten Kate

Director
Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program
Forest Trends
Washington D.C., U.S.A
ktenkate(at)forest-trends.org