July brought a number of conservation scientist and researchers together for the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania section meeting in Brisbane. As part of the conference, I organised a symposium on marine biodiversity offsets. The meeting brought together researchers working in academia, NGO and private industry to discuss the current state of marine biodiversity offset policy and practice.
Biodiversity offsets are increasingly being used to mitigate impacts from economic expansion and development on vulnerable species and ecosystems, with the goal of achieving ‘no net loss’ (NNL). However, current offset research and policy are mostly focused on terrestrial systems while marine offsetting has lagged behind. The symposium aimed to discuss these gaps and present the current research on the topic of marine NNL, including discussions on everything from environmental impact assessments, the mitigation hierarchy and the policy and practice of marine offsetting.
After organising the SCBO symposium I got a great opportunity to present a webinar for the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP), who are the leaders in best practice offsetting at the global scale. While presentations at conferences are great, a webinar on the BBOP has the chance to reach a number of researchers and practitioners who were not able to attend the symposium. For the webinar, I was able to summarise the presenters own slides and synthesize the current challenges of achieving no net loss in marine systems as discussed at the conference.
A special thanks to all the SCBO symposium participants, as well as to Kerry TenKate and Patrick McGuire at the BBOP for giving me the opportunity to present the webinar.
The BBOP webinar on Marine Biodiversity offsets can be found here: http://bbop.forest-trends.org/pages/webinars