Volume 2 Issue 1: January 2008    
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About BBOP

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
 
 
About BBOP

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

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

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Dear BBOP Learning Network,

Since we were last in touch, a new pilot project has joined the BBOP portfolio, we have been supporting the existing pilots in the design of their biodiversity offsets and introducing biodiversity offsets to new audiences around the world.  The BBOP team has also been developing the toolkit of methodologies that designers of voluntary biodiversity offsets could draw on and adapt for use in their own circumstances.  We hope to have drafts of these methodologies to share with Learning Network members and others interested in time for the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, which will be held in Bonn, Germany in May 2008.

We hope you enjoy our brief updates and look forward to your feedback. We can be reached via email at bbop@forest-trends.org.

The BBOP Secretariat Team
(Kerry ten Kate, Assheton Carter, Patrick Maguire, Mahlette Betre, Rachel Miller, Paul Mitchell)

 

Meetings:

Recent BBOP News:

Recent Publications/News:

Looking Forward:

 
Meetings

Department of Conservation, New Zealand and Landcare Research, New Zealand
September 2007--

In late September, Kerry ten Kate from BBOP and Mark Pizey from Solid Energy New Zealand (SENZ) spoke at workshops arranged at New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (which manages approximately one third of the country’s land area, and is interested in exploring the potential of biodiversity offsets in the country) and Landcare Research, a leading environmental research organization in New Zealand.  SENZ’s BBOP pilot project and two new Kiwi members of the BBOP Advisory Committee (below) will help BBOP draw on New Zealand’s relevant expertise and offer BBOP’s experience around the world to work on biodiversity offsets in NZ. 

Ghana Policy Workshop
November 2007 --

On Tuesday November 6, 2007, the Business and Biodiversity Program (BBOP), Conservation International – Ghana, with support from Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd, held a meeting in Accra to discuss Biodiversity Offsets and their use as a tool for conservation in Ghana. The goal of the event was to introduce the concept of biodiversity offsets, describe the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program and its application of biodiversity offsets worldwide, and discuss the challenges and opportunities for integrating biodiversity offsets into a sustainable development framework in Ghana. About 40 participants attended representing various levels of government including the, Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Environmental Protection Agency and the Chamber of Mines and the mining sector. One of the recommendations that came out of the workshop was the establishment of a task force or working group to explore the feasibility and opportunities for incorporating biodiversity offsets into Ghana planning and legislation. More details about the meeting can be found at: http://www.forest-trends.org/biodiversityoffsetprogram/ln_meetings.php

The European Initiative on Business and Biodiversity
November 2007 --

The Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council and European Commission held a conference in Lisbon on 12-13 November.  Kerry ten Kate gave a presentation entitled “Building Biodiversity Business - Moving to action:  what should the EU do?” in a session on markets for biodiversity goods & services. A number of useful background papers were produced for each of the Conference workshops.  These and the results of the conference can be found at: http://countdown2010.net/business

 
Recent BBOP News

Strongman Mine added as a BBOP Pilot Project

The Strongman coal mine, owned by Solid Energy New Zealand, is the latest addition to the BBOP pilot project portfolio.  The mine is situated on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, and comprises two underground and a single surface coal mining operation. The mine footprint, including the associated infrastructure traverses altitudes from 150 m to 600 m within two catchments that drain west from the Paparoa Ranges to the Tasman Sea. The Strongman mine is a unique addition to the group of pilot projects because it will be BBOP’s first example of a biodiversity offset designed retrospectively after the impacts have already occurred. The final mining operation at the site was completed in 2005 and rehabilitation has been ongoing since then. As part of its Environmental Policy, Solid Energy has the goal of undertaking its work in such a way as to secure a net positive effect on the New Zealand environment. Solid Energy sees this as a fundamental requirement of achieving a social mandate to continue its business and demonstrate sustainability of the industry in New Zealand.

New BBOP Advisory Committee members

Mark Pizey is the National Environmental Manager for Solid Energy New Zealand (SENZ), for whom he has worked for the past 8 years. Prior to this, Mark has held positions as Development Manager for alluvial gold mining projects in NZ and South America, Senior Inspector of Mines in NZ and Underground Manager in Fijian gold mines. Mark started his career in the Cornish tin mining industry in the UK. In his current position, Mark has responsibility for delivering the Company Environmental Policy which is founded on the goal of achieving a net positive gain to the New Zealand Environment as a result of all the activities undertaken by SENZ. SENZ is New Zealand’s largest coal (and energy) producer, with interests in biodiesel production, renewable fuels (wood pellets), coal seam gas and underground coal gasification.

Dr. Theo Stephens, Scientific Officer of the New Zealand Department of Conservation will also be joining the Advisory Committee.  The Government of New Zealand is increasingly interested in biodiversity offsets as a way to facilitate sustainable development while reducing biodiversitiy losses that occur when biodiversity has no tangible economic value. Theo is an ecologist with a background in limnology, fisheries, modeling and since about 1995, biodiversity conservation assessment. Theo has developed frameworks and methods for measuring the state of biodiversity and estimating the difference made by diverse conservation activities, policies and legislation.  His work includes comparison of the cost-effectiveness of diverse biodiversity conservation operations, and estimation of the biodiversity conservation achieved at national scales by policy and legislation. Theo is now part of a team developing the systems, infrastructure and standard procedures needed to embed biodiversity conservation measurement within the business processes (esp. planning and reporting) of the Department of Conservation. He also leads a multi-agency research programme on interpreting biodiversity indicators. He will bring to BBOP broad expertise on issues related to the concepts, frameworks, methods, models and data required for biodiversity offset measurement.

Dr. Jonathan Baillie will now be the Zoological Society of London’s representative on the Advisory committee, following Glyn Davies’ move to WWF-UK.  Dr Baillie has recently been appointed head of field conservation at the Zoological Society of London. Dr. Baillie was previously a research fellow at the Institute of Zoology, where he was head of the Indicators and Assessments Unit, focusing on defining biodiversity trends.

 
Recent Publication / News

Banking on Conservation 2007. Species and Wetland Mitigation Banking
By: Ricardo Bayon, Amanda Hawn, Nathaniel Carroll
Ecosystem Market Place, 2007

Members of the Ecosystem Marketplace produced a second booklet in the "EM Market Insights: Biodiversity" series entitled Banking on Conservation 2007 – Species and Wetland Mitigation Banking. The report covers the evolving policy framework governing mitigation banking in the United States, and the broad idea of biodiversity offsetting; lessons learned from the experiences of those tackling challenges and realizing opportunities in the world of market-based conservation; and finally insights about how mitigation banking is headed in the decades to come. For the full article please visit: http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/media/pdf/em_banking_on_conservation_2007.pdf

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Conservation and Biodiversity Banking: A Guide to Setting up and Running Biodiversity Credit Trading Systems
Edited by Nathaniel Carroll, Jessica Fox and Ricardo Bayon (December 2007)

Conservation and Biodiversity Banking is a comprehensive guide to species mitigation banking. It provides practical guidance, tools, case studies, analysis, and insights into endangered species banking in the United States and abroad, and serves a handbook for a broad audience including private landowners, complying industries, regulating agencies, policy makers, bank developers, and interested general public.
 
Conservation and Biodiversity Banking uses species credit banking in the U.S. (also known as conservation banking) as a model to demonstrate how an active biodiversity market can and might function.  The first section of the book provides an introduction to this model.  The second section of the book covers the ecological, legal, business, financial, and regulatory aspects of a species credit banking system and provides practical guidance to practitioners in the U.S. or outside the country. And in the final sections: State of the Art, International Influence, and Conclusion, the authors discuss where they think conservation banking may be heading in the future.

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New Forests and Sabah State Government Announce Launch of Biodiversity Offset Program in Borneo
New Forests Pty Limited (November 2007)

New Forests Pty Limited has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sabah State Government of Malaysia regarding the joint development of a wildlife habitat conservation bank to be implemented in the Malua Forest Reserve, covering a total area of approximately 34,000 hectares on the island of Borneo.  The event marks the first time that the Government has entered into an agreement designed to deliver conservation outcomes on a commercial basis. “The objective of the Sabah Government and New Forests is to create a winning situation for all:  palm oil companies can help protect rainforest, private investment can make a return from rainforest rehabilitation and conservation, and the Government can offer a solution to current concerns around oil palm plantation,” says David Brand, Managing Director of New Forests.  “We hope that via a commercial approach to conservation, we may be able to contribute to a sustainable landscape on Borneo that includes palm oil, timber production and wildlife conservation all being managed on a commercial basis in harmony.”
For more information on the Sabah Foundation, please visit: http://www.ysnet.org.my. For more information on New Forests Pty Ltd, please visit: www.newforests.com.au.  

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“Compensatory mitigation as a solution to fisheries bycatch–biodiversity conservation
Conflicts”
By: Chris Wilcox and C Josh Donlan (2007)
Front Ecol Environ; 5(6): 325–331

This article proposes a bio-economic approach which suggests that compensatory
mitigation (or a biodiversity offset) can facilitate high-value uses of biological resources and cost-effective conservation gains for species of concern. The authors illustrate this strategy with a sea bird example. Worldwide fishery bycatch has tremendous negative effects on many ocean dwelling species.  Most affected are sea birds and sea turtles.  Many sea birds, for instance, depend on fish stocks, which are harmed by bycatch.  However, these sea birds are more affected by events which occur on terrestrial habitat, such as predation by feral cats and rats.  Rather than focussing on pollution and bycatch, the authors describe an approach they consider more beneficial, namely focussing on stable and positive population growth, and maintenance of adequate habitat.  The economic cost of reducing bycatch is also much larger than the cost of eliminating invasive species.  Therefore it could be economically viable for fisheries to offset the impacts of their bycatch by investing in programs dealing with invasive mammals, which would be revenue-neutral, or revenue-negative. A bycatch levy, which would increase with endangerment, could provide an incentive for avoiding bycatch, which is the most effective mechanism for sustainable management of fisheries. Compensatory mitigation provides an opportunity to address a global concern, optimize conservation interventions, and forge an alliance between conservation and fisheries organizations. To read the full article please visit: http://www.forest-trends.org/biodiversityoffsetprogram/library/new/wilcox_&_donlan_2007.pdf

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 “Integrating invasive mammal eradications and biodiversity offsets for fisheries bycatch: conservation opportunities and challenges for seabirds and sea turtles”
By:  C Josh Donlan and Chris Wilcox (2007)
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

In this article, Wilcox and Donlan describe the removal of invasive mammals from islands as one of society’s most powerful tools for preventing extinctions and restoring ecosystems, giving the successful example of the Campbell Island eradication. As in the article above, they argue that fisheries which choose to offset their bycatch to support invasive species eradication could benefit from a social license to operate, regulatory goodwill and enhanced reputation.  A net-neutral or positive sea bird/turtle bycatch fishing enterprise might be able to increase its market access or gain a premium price for its products, as well as having an unprecedented effect on sea bird and turtle populations.  Such programs are attractive to conservation efforts due to their high cost effectiveness.  However, given the at least 80% of the world’s islands are at threat from invasive species, generating enough capital will likely be the biggest challenge to conservation efforts. To read the full article, please visit:  http://www.forest-trends.org/biodiversityoffsetprogram/library/new/donlan_&_wilcox_2007b.pdf

 
Looking Forward

Policy initiatives for 2008
BBOP aims to promote greater use of biodiversity offsets at private and public development sites by encouraging companies and governments to incorporate biodiversity offsets into their policies and practices.  Companies can commit to conduct biodiversity offsets at sites where their operations may have a significant impact on biodiversity.  Governments can use existing policies or introduce new legislation to require or encourage developers to offset their impacts on biodiversity.  BBOP will catalyze these systemic changes by working with companies and industry associations and with policy makers in national government and international policy fora. 

For example, in 2008 BBOP plans to convene meetings in Madagascar with senior government officials, the private sector and key NGO stakeholders. The goal of these meetings will be to engage key ministers on best practices for biodiversity conservation and how biodiversity offsets can be used to achieve national biodiversity and sustainable development goals.

BBOP also plans to convene a workshop and side event at the 9th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in May 2008. The purpose of the workshop is twofold:

  1. to bring experts experienced in biodiversity offset design together with some CBD government delegates to prepare for any discussions on biodiversity offsets during COP9; and
  2. to focus on a specific aspect of biodiversity offsets, planning biodiversity offsets in a national and bioregional context, aggregated offsets, conservation banking and wise land-use planning.

This meeting will be attended by government representatives, companies, NGOs, and financial institutions that have expressed interest in offsets.  We hope to disseminate the first working draft of the BBOP Toolkit at this meeting for feedback. We will be seeking comments and suggestions, to be reflected in a second working draft of the Toolkit will be disseminated at the World Conservation Forum, in October 2008, where BBOP will also host a roundtable discussion on biodiversity offsets.

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

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