Journal article

What are we measuring? A review of metrics used to describe biodiversity in offsets exchanges

Erica Marshall, Brendan A Wintle, Darren Southwell, Heini Kujala

BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2020

Abstract

Biodiversity offsets are increasingly employed as an approach to compensate for unavoidable development impacts. Reliance on overly simplistic metrics in assessing the impacts of development, and assigning offset requirements, generally results in offsets which fail to conserve the key ecological values they seek to protect. We conducted a cross-disciplinary quantitative review, based on 255 peer-reviewed publications from three fields of research; offsetting (n = 43), conservation planning (n = 54) and ecology (n = 158), to explore which metrics are commonly used in offsetting compared to the conservation and ecology literature. We recorded the use of biodiversity metrics from 24 categories..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program's Threatened Species Recovery Hub and a Melbourne University Research Scholarship. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that improved this work.