Biodiversity Offsetting – biophilia or biophobia (love nature or loathe it)?

Another look at biodiversity offsetting, this time from John Clarkson, lecturer in Wildlife Conservation at Nottingham Trent University. He effectively mixes scientific and humanist arguments for opposing biodiversity offsetting. Trees are indeed individuals whose lifespans cover many human lifetimes. If you want to tell Mr Paterson what he needs to believe about stepping down such a slippery path as this please fill in one of the surveys that DEFRA will (hopefully) take in to account – available at

Woodland Matters

With a scathing view of the Government’s proposals, John Clarkson provides our final guest post in this series about plans for a Biodiversity Offsetting scheme. Having spent twenty years working for conservation NGOs, John has been a lecturer in Wildlife Conservation for the last 5 years at Nottingham Trent University specialising in the understanding of natural processes and human/wildlife interactions.  

” ‘Offsetting is an exciting opportunity to look at how we can improve the environment as well as grow the economy. There is no reason why wildlife and development can’t flourish side-by-side.’

And with this statement the Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson, appears to suggest that the process of ‘offsetting’ is one which has nature in mind; that it is a ‘we-care-for-the-environment’, biophiliac approach.

Which got me thinking…is this a biophiliac ‘wolf’ in a biophobic ‘sheep’s’ clothing? Because what he then didn’t go on to say…

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