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Sustainability 2013, 5(12), 4961-4987; doi:10.3390/su5124961
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A Framework for Implementing and Valuing Biodiversity Offsets in Colombia: A Landscape Scale Perspective

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Received: 5 October 2013 / Revised: 4 November 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
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Abstract

Biodiversity offsets provide a mechanism for maintaining or enhancing environmental values in situations where development is sought, despite negative environmental impacts. They seek to ensure that unavoidable deleterious environmental impacts of development are balanced by environmental gains. When onsite impacts warrant the use of offsets there is often little attention paid to make sure that the location of offset sites provides the greatest conservation benefit, ensuring they are consistent with landscape level conservation goals. In most offset frameworks it is difficult for developers to proactively know the offset requirements they will need to implement. Here we propose a framework to address these needs. We propose a series of rules for selecting offset sites that meet the conservation needs of potentially impacted biological targets. We then discuss an accounting approach that seeks to support offset ratio determinations based on a structured and transparent approach. To demonstrate the approach, we present a framework developed in partnership with the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development to reform existing mitigation regulatory processes.
Keywords: biodiversity offsets; compensatory mitigation; landscape scale mitigation; mitigation hierarchy; sustainable development goals biodiversity offsets; compensatory mitigation; landscape scale mitigation; mitigation hierarchy; sustainable development goals
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Saenz, S.; Walschburger, T.; González, J.C.; León, J.; McKenney, B.; Kiesecker, J. A Framework for Implementing and Valuing Biodiversity Offsets in Colombia: A Landscape Scale Perspective. Sustainability 2013, 5, 4961-4987.

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