A policy framework to accommodate both the analytical and normative aspects of biodiversity in ecological compensation
Vaissière, Anne-Charlotte; Meinard, Yves (2020), A policy framework to accommodate both the analytical and normative aspects of biodiversity in ecological compensation, Biological Conservation, 253, p. 108897. 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108897
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameBiological Conservation
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Laboratoire d'analyse et modélisation de systèmes pour l'aide à la décision [LAMSADE]
Abstract (EN)Ecological compensation is a principle according to which negative impacts on biodiversity should be compensated for. Biodiversity offsetting (BO) is the requirement to compensate quantified losses by quantified biodiversity gains considered to be equivalent. Compensation policies reducing ecological compensation to BO overlook the fact that the notion of biodiversity has both analytical and normative aspects. To substantiate this idea, we analyze the French case, which is one of the most developed ecological compensation policies in the world. We show that this policy is torn between two antagonistic trends. The first trend leads decision-makers and practitioners to embark on a numerical quest for “no net loss” of biodiversity. The second trend explores new organizational strategies consisting of a change in spatiotemporal scale and scope. This second trend challenges the precepts of BO and the associated objective of no net loss. We argue that the first trend reflects the analytical aspect of biodiversity but ignores the normative one, while the second trend does the exact opposite. A serious ecological compensation policy should reconcile both aspects to do justice to the complexity of biodiversity. We elaborate the organizational building blocks of such a two-tier ecological compensation policy, which is key to participate in stopping the erosion of biodiversity.
Subjects / KeywordsEcological compensation; Biodiversity offsetting; Quantification; Territory-scale conservation planning; Policy analysis
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