Published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, “Global no net loss of natural ecosystems,” examines what the concept of no net loss in biodiversity offsetting would mean in practice.
Loss of habitat or nature due to development projects (e.g. infrastructure, extraction, urban expansion) are frequently addressed through what’s known as biodiversity offsetting or ‘ecological compensation’. As currently implemented, offsetting typically requires an outcome of ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity, but that’s only relative to a baseline trajectory of general biodiversity decline. This type of ‘relative’ no net loss entrenches ongoing biodiversity loss and is misaligned with biodiversity targets that require ‘absolute’ no net loss or ‘net gain.’