Paterson favours biodiversity offsetting

11th November 2013


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Natural resources ,
  • Management ,
  • Local government ,
  • Construction



Environment secretary Owen Paterson says the introduction of biodiversity offsetting could provide a big stimulus to enhance local environments in England

He told the parliamentary environmental audit committee inquiry into offsetting that, with the right metric, such a mechanism could speed up developments and providing long-term funding for improving nearby areas.

“If the metric is right, everyone involved in a project will see there is value in the environment that might be affected,” he explained. “Instead of money being wasted on delays and legal fees, it could be given for the long-term benefit of the environment.”

Paterson also said that offset sites should be reasonably close to affected habitat, arguing that the local community would want an overall improvement in their environment.

Pressed by committee members on whether biodiversity offsetting should be mandatory or voluntary, the environment secretary said the mandatory approach adopted in the Australian state of Victoria had impressed him.

“There are clear advantages if the system was mandatory,” he told MPs. “I think you would get more people coming forward with potential [offsetting] sites.”

He did, however, note that the current offsetting pilots, which are being conducted in six areas and will end in April 2014, have shown that a voluntary approach can also work.

Paterson said he would decide whether to pursue a mandatory approach when Defra had evaluated feedback from a consultation on its potential biodiversity offsetting system that recently ended (see p.8), as well as an assessment of the pilots.

Meanwhile, IEMA’s latest “leading the way” event attracted about 90 delegates to a discussion on valuing nature.

Hosted in association with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, presentations were made by Network Rail, the Woodland Carbon Code, Trucost, the Crown Estate and URS before delegates debated the pros and cons of placing a value on nature.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

The biophilic effect

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

A hangover from EU legislation, requirements on the need for consideration of nutrient neutrality for developments on many protected sites in England were nearly removed from the planning system in 2023.

2nd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

All major housing developments in England will be required by law to deliver at least a 10% increase in biodiversity under new rules that came into force today.

12th February 2024

Read more

As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Born Free Foundation, co-founder Will Travers OBE tells Chris Seekings how a new approach to conservation is needed to end animal suffering

1st February 2024

Read more

Ajirioghene Samuel looks at some exciting tree-planting initiatives, offering nature-based solutions to climate change impacts

1st February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close