Volume 2 Issue 2: September 2007    
 

The Business and Biodiversity Offset Program (BBOP) is a new partnership between companies, governments and conservation experts to explore biodiversity offsets.

Our vision and expectation is that biodiversity offsets will become a standard part of business practice for those companies with a significant impact on biodiversity.

Link to the BBOP website

Interested in a short overview of the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program? Check out our brochure by clicking here.

Visit our website to learn more about the next Learning Network Event!

Dear BBOP Learning Network,

The last few months have seen a range of meetings and publications that have introduced the concept of biodiversity offsets to policy-makers, companies, financiers and NGOs from Australia to Germany, and Korea to Mexico.  The BBOP team has been there and now brings you a quick update.
                        
During the rest of 2007, BBOP plans to develop its draft Toolkit.  We hope to share drafts broadly for comment at the time of COP 9 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in May 2008.  We will also be providing continued support to our existing pilot projects on biodiversity offset design and discussing potential new pilot projects.

We’d be delighted to hear your news and to exchange ideas on biodiversity offsets, best practice in corporate biodiversity management, and land-use planning.

-The BBOP Team

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 

Meetings:

  1. Conservation Finance Meeting (July 2007)
  2. Mexico Offsets Methodology Training Workshop (June 2007) and Policy Workshop (Feb 2007)
  3. BBOP Learning Network and Program Meetings in Bainbridge (June 2007)
  4. Offsets Theme Forum and Training Session at the International Association of Impact Assessment (May 2007)
  5. Biodiversity Offsets for the Minerals and Energy Industries (March 2007)
  6. Assessing Ecosystems for Business (March 2007)

Recent News:

  1. Patrick Maguire joins the BBOP Secretariat
  2. WWF and IIED join the BBOP Advisory Committee

Recent Publications:

  1. Gibbons & Lindenmayer:  “Offsets for land clearing: No net loss or the tail wagging the dog?”
  2. Position Paper on Environmental Offsetting
  3. WRI et al: Developing a Corporate Ecosystem Services Review
 

MEETINGS 

Conservation Finance Meeting Vilm, Germany (July 2007)

From 29 July to 3 August 2007, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, GTZ, BBOP Advisory Committee Member KFW Bank and the International Academy for Nature Conservation hosted a meeting on financial instruments for conservation on the island of Vilm.  The meeting reviewed financial mechanisms and delved into good governance, national financing strategies, and benefit sharing.  Participants explored a number of specific instruments, such as trust funds, payments for ecosystem services, conservation agreements and biodiversity offsets, which were presented by BBOP Director Kerry ten Kate.  The experts’ recommendations on trust funds will be useful input as the BBOP team prepares the BBOP Biodiversity Offset Implementation Handbook.

Mexico Offsets Methodology Training Workshop (June 2007) and Policy Workshop (Feb 2007)

Mexico Workshop
(Left to right)  Mauricio Trejo of the Mexican Protected Areas Commission, Patricia Sánchez Saucedo of Pemex and Kerry ten Kate of BBOP.

BBOP director Kerry ten Kate and David Parkes, a member of the BBOP Advisory Committee, traveled to Mexico in June at the invitation of the Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda to run a training workshop on biodiversity offsets.  Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda is exploring biodiversity offsets as a possible option for future developments that may affect the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.  The group works closely with Mexico’s Protected Area Commission and has offered itself as an interim focal point on biodiversity offsets in Mexico. The workshop introduced and discussed the BBOP methodologies, particularly the benchmark approach for calculating projects’ impacts on biodiversity and offsets’ gains.  It brought together individuals from developers (e.g. the National Electricity Commission, Pemex and the Ministry of Tourism), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Protected Area Commission and representatives from regional government in the State of San Luis Potosi universities. 

This workshop was the follow-up from a first meeting on environmental compensation for biodiversity and development, hosted by the Mexican National Ecology Institute in conjunction with the Business and Biodiversity Offset Program (BBOP) from 15-16 February 2007 in Mexico City.  Participants analyzed the existing legal and policy situation in Mexico for environmental compensations and biodiversity offsets for residual damages caused to biodiversity by development projects. Approximately 40 people from a variety of sectors, including developers, governments and NGOs, participated in the meeting.
>>For more information on the meeting click here

BBOP Learning Network and Program Meetings in Bainbridge, Washington (June 2007)

Bainbridge Meeting

BBOP Advisory Committee meeting – participants in a surgery session for a pilot project enjoy the sunshine of Bainbridge Island.  Left to right: Katrin Olson, CI; Jack Tordoff, Birdlife International; Marielle Canter, CI, Jeannicq Randrianarisoa CI Madagascar; Pierre Berner, Ambatovy Project; and Michael Jenkins, Forest Trends.

On June 18th, 2006, the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP) and the City of Bainbridge convened a public day long open discussion on biodiversity offsets on Bainbridge Island, Washington State. During the meeting, speakers and participants discussed a range of issues including: the risks and opportunities of biodiversity offsets and incentives for developers to undertake biodiversity offsets; technical issues of biodiversity offset design and implementation, particularly marine biodiversity offsets and institutional and financial aspects of securing long-term implementation of biodiversity offsets and finally. The meeting allowed BBOP Advisory Committee members and local participants to share experiences relevant to biodiversity offsets both in the North American context and internationally.

Following the Learning Network Day at Bainbridge Island, BBOP convened its fifth Program Meeting from June 19 – 21. The meeting gathered 49 participants -- Advisory Committee members, members of the BBOP Secretariat, representatives from the current pilot projects and representatives from five potential new pilot projects. The meeting drew on BBOP’s methodology workshop hosted by the London Zoological Society in April and focused on the BBOP offset methodologies under development; the progress and needs of current pilot projects; options for potential new pilots; final products planned for BBOP; and future work and policy objectives.
>>For more information on the Learning Network Meeting click here

Offsets Theme Forum and Training Session at the International Association of Impact Assessment (May 2007)

The BBOP Director and two members of the Advisory Committee, Dr Jon Ekstrom and Dr Jo Treweek ran a session at the Annual Conference of the International Association of Impact Assessment in Seoul, Korea on June 5th 2007.  Impact assessment practitioners from 30 countries discussed how to mainstream biodiversity into development through biodiversity offsets.  The workshop was well attended and opened the door for future BBOP-IAIA collaboration. The session:

  • reviewed current thinking and experiences on biodiversity offsets internationally;
  • discussed the conservation and business risks and opportunities of biodiversity offsets;
  • discussed technical issues of biodiversity offset design and implementation.

>>For links to the presentations from the training session click here.

On 3-4 June, BBOP collaborated with IAIA’s ‘Capacity Building in Biodiversity and Impact Assessment’ (CBBIA) Program to run a two-day training workshop.  Working with Dr Vinod Mathur and Dr Asha Sukhvani from the Wildlife Institute of India,  Jo Treweek, Kerry ten Kate and Jon Ekstrom ran a training session on "Mitigation of Impacts on Biodiversity: Best Practices in Key Sectors"  for EIA practitioners.  This lively workshop saw participants from 13 countries taking part in biodiversity offset role-playing exercises. 

>> For more information on CBBIA, including a range of useful material relevant to biodiversity offsets, click here.

Biodiversity Offsets for the Minerals and Energy Industries (March 2007)

Some 80 participants from the mining and oil gas industries, a number of Australian states, federal government, and the NGO, community and research centers met in Perth, Australia from March 29 to 30, for a conference on biodiversity offsets.  ACMER (formerly the Australian Centre for Minerals Extension and Research), a unit within the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) of the University of Queensland hosted the meeting.  An introductory first session explored what are biodiversity offsets, why develop them, and what to offset. Stakeholder perspectives were heard from indigenous and NGO perspectives, as well as from government and industry.  A session on methodologies focused on issues such as the scale, timing, location, additionality, comparability and appropriateness of offsets, as well as operational issues such as management beyond mine closure. Kerry ten Kate and David Parkes presented the emerging BBOP Tools.  A session on regulatory and legal approaches to biodiversity offsets explored current policy in Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, as well as hearing from Kerry ten Kate on offset legislation in other countries.  Speakers presented a number of Australian biodiversity offset case studies, and Kerry introduced one of BBOP’s pilot projects: The PPRust project of AngloAmerican.  Academic, industry, government and NGO perspectives concluded the meeting.

Assessing Ecosystems for Business (March 2007)

On March 19, 2007, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) held a meeting on assessing ecosystems for business in Montreux, Switzerland. Over 30 participants gathered representing NGO’s, government, business and an industry association. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange ideas and lessons learned about the range of current approaches related to ecosystems and business and to reflect on the new WBCSD ecosystem focus area. A range of initiatives that aim to deepen the understanding of ecosystems within the business community were presented including: Business & Biodiversity Programme at IUCN; the EU’s Business and Biodiversity Initiative; Good Practice guidances developed by ICMM; Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program; IPIECA-OGP Biodiversity Working Group; Energy & Biodiversity Initiative; Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform and WBCSD’s water project.
>>For more information on WBCSD's Ecosystem Focus Area click here.


RECENT NEWS  

Patrick MaguirePatrick Maguire joins the BBOP Secretariat

Patrick Maguire has joined the staff of Forest Trends as the new Program Manager of the Business and Biodiversity Offset Program, replacing Mira Inbar who left in June 2007 to pursue an MBA at U.C. Berkeley.  Patrick brings ten years of diverse experience managing international conservation and development programs.  Previous work includes managing community-forestry based enterprises in Nepal for the World Wildlife Fund; helping to establish the Conservation Finance Alliance and overseeing the development of a guide on innovative conservation financing at The Nature Conservancy; and serving as a consultant to USAID’s Biodiversity and Forestry Team with Chemonics Inc. Patrick received his Master’s degree in International Relations and Resource and Environmental Management from Boston University.  Responsibilities as BBOP Program Manager will include: coordinating the work of the Secretariat, developing BBOP funding proposals, managing the BBOP budget, liaising with pilot projects, helping develop the BBOP methodologies and toolkit, and coordinating program meetings.

WWF and IIED join the BBOP Advisory Committee

The largest multinational conservation organization in the world, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by close to 5 million members globally.  Melissa Moye, Director, Conservation Finance at WWF-US, will be the primary point of contact for WWF on the BBOP Advisory Committee and will keep other WWF experts informed on BBOP activities.  Melissa has extensive experience on a wide range of conservation finance issues, and in particular in designing environmental trust funds.  WWF is currently exploring a range of biodiversity offset opportunities, including a potential offset in Mozambique and "indirect" offsets piloted by WWF-Netherlands with Dutch companies.  Both WWF-Netherlands and WWF's Macroeconomics Programme Office have participated in BBOP meetings in the past, and, along with WWF-US, are interested in learning from and contributing to BBOP experiences

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an international policy research institute and non governmental body working for more sustainable and equitable global development.  IIED is based in London, and works globally through a wide range of long-standing relationships with partners across the developing world. Maryanne Grieg-Gran, Programme Director for Environmental Economics, will represent IIED on the BBOP Advisory Committee.  Maryanne has extensive experience in impact assessment of economic policy instruments and market-based approaches to environmental management; sustainable investment; and private sector initiatives.  She is leading the development of the BBOP tools related to economic valuation.


RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Offsets for land clearing: No net loss or the tail wagging the dog?
By: Philip Gibbons and David B. Lindenmayer (2007)

Ecological Management & Restoration 8 (1), 26–31 This article from Australia explores some of the criticisms of offsets, particularly with respect to the amount of gain required to compensate for losses from clearing, the equivalence of losses and gains, the time lag between losses and gains and a poor record of compliance. However, the authors conclude that offsetting is indeed a useful policy instrument as governments continue to clear land in Australia of native vegetation. They define specific parameters by which land clearing with offsets should be carried out to contribute to no net loss.

The article is available for purchase from this site.

Position Paper on Environmental Offsetting
Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), January 2007

In January, the MCA published a position paper statement on environmental offsets, which defines environmental offsets and discusses them in the context of policy frameworks and existing legislation in Australia. The position paper also includes a discussion on the practical implications and key principles for offsetting.

Developing a Corporate Ecosystem Services Review
World Resources Institute, the Meridian Institute, WBCSD

Recognizing the need for business support and action to move towards a reversal of ecosystem degradation, WRI, the Meridian Institute and WBCSD have teamed up to develop and test a methodology for an “ecosystem services review” for businesses that will help to identify risks and opportunities related to ecosystem services degradation. The review is currently in the pilot and methodology testing phase; publication is expected later this year.

You can download this document here.


Do you know of any news, meetings or publications relevant to biodiversity offsets? 
If you would like to share it with the BBOP Learning Network members, please contact the BBOP Secretariat at bbop@forest-trends.org 


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