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Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program


Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program


BBOP is an international partnership of some 80+ leading conservation organizations, companies, governments, and financial institutions developing, testing and implementing best practice on biodiversity offsets. Forest Trends launched BBOP in November 2004, and serves as its Secretariat with the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

Since its inception the BBOP partners have worked to clarify and firmly embed the role of biodiversity offsets in the broader Mitigation Hierarchy (avoid, minimize, restore and offset) with a view to achieving no net loss and preferably a net gain of biodiversity, and to develop the principles and methodologies required to support best practice in  biodiversity offsets. Now in its third phase of work (2012- 2016), BBOP continues to adapt its strategy and activities in order to deliver on the members' expectation that high quality mitigation including biodiversity offsets will become a standard part of the development process when projects have a (significant) residual impact on biodiversity, resulting in long term and globally significant conservation outcomes. BBOP is a global forum where organizations of many different kinds from around the world share experience and collaborate on the development of best practice related to biodiversity offsets.


Biodiversity offsets, as defined by BBOP, are measurable conservation outcomes resulting from actions designed to compensate for significant residual adverse biodiversity impacts arising from project development, and persisting after appropriate prevention and mitigation have been taken. The goal of biodiversity offsets is to achieve no net loss and preferably a net gain of biodiversity on the ground with respect to species composition, habitat structure, ecosystem function and people's use and cultural values associated with biodiversity.

The BBOP Vision:

BBOP envisages a future in which the mitigation hierarchy is rigorously applied worldwide to a high standard by projects in as many sectors as possible, to achieve no net loss and preferably a net gain of biodiversity including, where appropriate, the use of biodiversity offsets.

The BBOP Mission:

BBOP's mission is to provide leadership in the inclusion of biodiversity offsets as a widely recognised and applied tool after avoidance, minimization and restoration measures, by developing and promoting best practice and the highest standards, based on agreed principles.

BBOP's Goals:

  • To provide a global forum for collective learning, the dissemination of biodiversity mitigation and offset concepts and the sharing of experience on implementation.
  • To assist developers in designing and implementing mitigation measures including offsets that produce measurable and long term conservation outcomes in the widest range of countries and sectors possible.
  • To support the development of institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks which support no net loss and preferably a net gain of biodiversity, including  biodiversity offsets.
  • To improve biodiversity offset concepts and methods informed by practical experience and research, and scientific practice.
  • To promote development and adoption of standards and methods for verification in the domain of no net loss and the mitigation hierarchy, such as the Standard on Biodiversity Offsets, with  a view to ensuring that mitigation measures including offsets are applied when appropriate and to a high standard.
  • To facilitate transparent and accountable partnerships among developers, governments, NGOs, researchers, communities and indigenous peoples that strengthen delivery of high quality and long lasting offsets, and to promote coordination among stakeholders
  • To explore and communicate innovations in biodiversity offsets including market-based and community-oriented approaches.
  • To align biodiversity offsets with efforts to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and priorities for biodiversity conservation.
  • To promote the integration of mitigation measures including biodiversity offsets into national and regional development plans to deliver permanent conservation outcomes

Phase I: During its initial phase, from November 2004 to June 2009, BBOP developed and made widely available:

    1. A set of internationally recognized best practice principles for biodiversity offset design and implementation, unanimously agreed in December 2008 by the BBOP Advisory Group.
    2. Methodology handbooks for voluntary biodiversity offset design and implementation.
    3. Practical, on-the-ground offset design experience from a portfolio of pilot projects in the extractive industry and real estate development sectors in six countries, described in case studies.

    Phase II: Work priorities during the second phase of work, July 2009 July 2012, focused on:

      1. Developing the Standard on Biodiversity Offsets;
      2. Expanding the portfolio of biodiversity offset experiences to a wider set of industries and regions;
      3. Improving the BBOP biodiversity offset design and implementation guidelines based on broader practical experience and;
      4. Growing the BBOP Learning Network;

      Phase III: Work priorities for the current phase of work, through 2016, will focus on:

      1. Improving the Standard and associated tools;
      2. Expanding the Community of Practice to reach beyond BBOP membership
      3. Building capacity through training of professionals
      4. Mainstreaming no net loss of biodiversity into policy and practice
      5. Research on best practice on emerging issues

      The BBOP Web Page provides further information on program activities.

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