Research papers advising the Biodiversity Offsets Programme

Published:  

2012

This page provides access to some of the 20 projects completed to inform the outputs of a Cross-Departmental Research Pool (CDRP)-funded programme investigating the feasibility of biodiversity offsetting in New Zealand. The research projects were completed up to 2012.

Please note: the purpose of these research papers was to help inform this DOC-managed research programme; rather than to be a product out of it. They do not represent DOC’s policy position but are some of the more compelling and insightful outputs of the CDRP research programme that will contribute to the formation, to some extent, of a position on what might represent best-practice in offsetting.

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Offsets for developers (1): measuring impacts and defining offset specifications: Bathurst Resources t/a Buller Coal Holdings proposed Denniston Escarpment mining project (PDF, 411K) 
Prepared by Dr Kelvin Lloyd of Wildlands Consultants, this report compares and contrasts the use of four different offset currencies and models the application of these to the Escarpment Mine Project on the Denniston Plateau, Westland. Copies of the models are available on request.
 
A summary report comparing and contrasting data collected on pilot case studies across currencies; and analysing findings (PDF, 1,2110K)
Prepared by Dr Kelvin Lloyd of Wildlands Consultants, with Dr Graham Ussher of Tonkin & Taylor, this report provides an overall assessment of the different biodiversity offsetting currencies and models tested in the three pilot case studies and provides recommendations for their use, limitations and future research priorities.

Biodiversity offsets: appropriate limits and thresholds (PDF, 549K)
Prepared by The Biodiversity Consultancy to stimulate discussion and feedback of ideas, this preliminary draft paper assesses the concept of appropriate limits to biodiversity offsets. This paper has now been superseded by the final report on this subject, entitled "Biodiversity offsets: relative offsetability of impacts", which can be found below, and should be referred to in all cases.

Biodiversity offsets: relative offsetability of impacts (PDF, 650K) 
Prepared by The Biodiversity Consultancy, this report assesses appropriate limits to biodiversity offsets, and thresholds of risk below these limits. The report is intended to provide stimulus for discussion and wider debate with respect to what types and magnitudes of offsets are unlikely to be offsetable, and what categories of lesser risk exist below such a 'non-offsetable' threshold. 

Offsets for developers (2): measuring impacts and defining offset specifications: Winstones Aggregates project (PDF, 7,000K) Please note: this is a very large file
Prepared by Dr Graham Ussher of Tonkin & Taylor, this report compares and contrasts four different offset currencies and models the application of these to the Hunua Quarry Symonds Hill Pit Extraction project in South Auckland.  

Practical measures to avoid and overcome systemic barriers to no net loss biodiversity offset outcomes in New Zealand (PDF, 1640K)
Prepared by Tonkin & Taylor and Covec, this report outlines the systemic barriers to implementing and achieving robust no net loss biodiversity offset outcomes in New Zealand. The report also recommends practical measures to avoid and overcome systemic barriers.

Offsets for developers (3): measuring impacts and defining offset specifications: Tahi NZ Eco-Resort project (PDF, 20,000K) Please note: this is a very large file
Prepared by Dr Neil Mitchell of Auckland UniServices, this study assesses the ability of different offset currencies to achieve no net loss at the Tahi Estate, a retired cattle farm in Northland under development as an ecotourism venture.

Selection and weighting of attributes for use in biodiversity offsetting currencies
Kevin Lloyd suggests a New Zealand framework and guidance for selecting and weighting biodiversity offsetting attributes in order to reduce the subjectivity that permeates current offsetting approaches.

No net loss and loss-gain calculations in biodiversity offsets - Forest Trends website
Prepared by the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme, this resource paper outlines the key issues that need to be considered in working towards the goal of biodiversity offsets - a no net loss or net gains outcome for biodiversity. It sets out a broad conceptual framework for loss/gain calculations, considerations when selecting reference conditions, and uncertainities in loss/gain assessment.

The role of monitoring and compliance in securing better biodiversity outcomes through offsetting arrangements (PDF, 356K) 
In this report Dr Matt Baber of Tonkin & Taylor Ltd investigates the role of monitoring and compliance in securing better conservation outcomes through biodiversity offsetting arrangements under the Resource Management Act.

Key ingredients for biodiversity offsets to achieve no net loss (PDF, 237K)
To ensure that offsets contribute effectively towards reconciling development and conservation and achieving no net loss of biodiversity, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the key ingredients for meeting this goal. Toby Gardner and Amrei von Hase review the key conditions and considerations that underpin no net loss.

A missing piece of the conservation puzzle: biodiversity offsets (PDF, 232K)
Alexander Gillespie examines the international legal and policy context for biological offsets. He argues that the real value of biodiversity offsets is in their potential, if correctly applied, to advance the overall goals of conservation.


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Prepared for the Department of Conservation.

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