Some positive thoughts here on the increasingly controversial biodiversity offsetting approach to planning. The key aspect to stress from this post is ‘local’. Local systems, local offsetting, local partnerships, local responsibility and local biodiversity. Personally I am not a big fan of biodiversity offsetting as a concept (as you can see in a previous article of mine regarding national parks). However, if it is going ahead (and it seems likely at this point in time that it will) we can at least approach the system in a way that ensures locality at the centre of negotiations. Biodiversity frameworks often work on small levels within a bigger frame, not the other way around. To mitigate habitat loss on the outskirts of Bradford by planting a woodland in the Canary islands does not cut the biscuit from my point of view. Habitat mitigation must be specific and controlled, something I fear will not come about as the campaign seems to be led by politicians who have already made up their minds and developers who are seeking an easy route to planning regulations.
One thought on “Biodiversity Offsetting – lose a wood, gain a wood”
As you pointed out, this will only work at a very local level. Offsetting the destruction with a woodland in Yorkshire with a new one in Scotland – the type of woodland may seem the same to the average person, but the fauna and flora it supports will be vastly different.