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Land 2014, 3(1), 167-187; doi:10.3390/land3010167

Development by Design in Western Australia: Overcoming Offset Obstacles

1,* , 2
1 The Nature Conservancy, Suite 2-01, 60 Leicester Street, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia 2 The Nature Conservancy, 117 East Mountain Avenue Suite 201, Fort Collins, CO 80524, USA 3 The Nature Conservancy, 490 Westfield Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901, USA 4 The Nature Conservancy, 2424 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 November 2013 / Revised: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
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Biodiversity offsets can be an important tool for maintaining or enhancing environmental values in situations where development is sought despite negative environmental impacts. There are now approximately 45 compensatory mitigation programs for biodiversity impacts worldwide, with another 27 programs in development. While offsets have great potential as a conservation tool, their establishment requires overcoming a number of conceptual and methodological hurdles. In Australia, new policy changes at the national and state (i.e., Western Australia) level require that offsets follow a set of general principles: (1) Environmental offsets may not be appropriate for all projects and will only be considered after avoidance and mitigation options have been pursued; (2) Environmental offsets will be based on sound environmental information and knowledge; (3) Establishing goals for offsets requires an estimate of expected direct and indirect impacts; (4) Environmental offsets will be focused on longer term strategic outcomes; (5) Environmental offsets will be cost-effective, as well as relevant and proportionate to the significance of the environmental value being impacted. Here we focus on the challenges of determining and implementing offsets using a real world example from a voluntary offset process undertaken for Barrick Gold’s Kanowna Belle mine site in Western Australia to highlight those challenges and potential solutions.
Keywords: mitigation hierarchy; offsets; Great Western Woodlands; mining; Western Australia; pastoral lease mitigation hierarchy; offsets; Great Western Woodlands; mining; Western Australia; pastoral lease
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Fitzsimons, J.; Heiner, M.; McKenney, B.; Sochi, K.; Kiesecker, J. Development by Design in Western Australia: Overcoming Offset Obstacles. Land 2014, 3, 167-187.

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