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Operationalisation of ecological compensation - Obstacles and ways forward

Blicharska, Malgorzata and Hedblom, Marcus and Josefsson, Jonas and Ranius, Thomas and Öckinger, Erik and Widenfalk, Lina (2022). Operationalisation of ecological compensation - Obstacles and ways forward. Journal of Environmental Management. 304 , 114277
[Research article]

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Ecological compensation (EC) has been proposed as an important tool for stopping the loss of biodiversity and natural values. However, there are few studies on its actual operationalisation and there is high uncertainty about how it should be designed and implemented to be an effective way of performing nature conservation. In this study we focus on ecological compensation in Sweden, a country where it is in the process of being implemented more broadly. Using interviews and a workshop we investigate how the work with the implementation is carried out and what challenges exist. The results show that implementation of EC is at an early stage of development and there are many practical obstacles, linked to both legislation and routines in the planning processes. There is a lack of holistic perspective and large-scale thinking, a quite strong focus on a small number of individual species, and an overall attitude that anything is better than nothing, all of which can have negative consequences for biodiversity conservation overall. Based on the results we discuss the need for better integration of EC into the entire decision-making process and for a holistic approach to preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, by increasing the focus on landscape perspective and considering delays in compensation outcomes. There is also a need for a national level standard for EC, making good and worse examples of compensation measures available and systematic monitoring of EC projects. Finally, a spatially explicit database to document all EC areas should be introduced both to ensure consistency in protection from future development plans and to enable long-term monitoring of EC outcomes.

Authors/Creators:Blicharska, Malgorzata and Hedblom, Marcus and Josefsson, Jonas and Ranius, Thomas and Öckinger, Erik and Widenfalk, Lina
Title:Operationalisation of ecological compensation - Obstacles and ways forward
Series Name/Journal:Journal of Environmental Management
Year of publishing :2022
Article number:114277
Number of Pages:9
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (Peace and Conflict Research and Studies on Sustainable Society)
Keywords:Biodiversity offset, Ecological compensation, Policy implementation, Stakeholder interview, Workshop
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000741771500009
ID Code:27106
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology

(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:16 Feb 2022 14:09
Metadata Last Modified:16 Feb 2022 14:11

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