Nov 28: Financing biodiversity conservation: Safeguards for biodiversity offsetting in Sweden – CEFO Research Seminar

Welcome to the CEMUS Research Forum (CEFO) Seminar

Time & Date: Tuesday, November 28th 10.15-12.00

Presenter: Niak Sian Koh (Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University)

Title: Financing biodiversity conservation: Safeguards for biodiversity offsetting in Sweden.

Venue: Baltic University Programme Library at the Centre for Sustainable Development (Geocentrum, Villavägen 16).



Biodiversity offsetting/Ecological compensation (EC) is being explored as a policy instrument for the European Union’s ‘No Net Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ initiative. EC is commonly associated with the Polluter-Pays Principle, but we propose the Developer-Pays Principle as a more comprehensive principle. Safeguards that are relevant to local and national contexts are needed when addressing social-ecological resilience in the face of risks associated with EC. The operationalisation of EC in Sweden is assessed through two case studies: the E12 highway and Mertainen mine. The institutional design and implementation procedures are investigated through semi-structured interviews as well as an analysis of legal and other written documents. Using a multi-level governance framework, we examine four key disputed issues within compensation. Our results suggest that (i) Risk of a license-to-trash can be minimised; (ii) Complementary quantitative and qualitative ecological valuation methods are needed to achieve additionality and No Net Loss; (iii) Compensation pools may be a promising strategy to secure land availability; and (iv) Social safeguards are vital for EC in high-income countries as well, where they are currently understudied. We conclude that EC cannot be the main instrument for nature conservation, but rather complementary to a strong legal framework that protects biodiversity and ecosystems in addition to the sustained and equitable benefits of ecosystem services.


Please email to receive the papers presented at the seminar or for any inquiries.

* This seminar was scheduled to be Lakin Anderson’s presentation on ‘Enabling Sustainability Transformation Of and Through Universities’. Due to some circumstances, we had to cancel this session but we hope to have Lakin come back another time! We are happy that Niak was able to jump in with such short notice.