Good practice principles for development
Designing, building, operating and maintaining – each of these stages of a development scheme generates opportunities to help achieve an overall benefit for biodiversity. Realising these opportunities is vital because biodiversity, and the functions it provides, are essential to sustain our society and economy.
Achieving these net gains in biodiversity, where there are wider benefits for society, is more than simply outweighing losses with gains. It requires doing everything possible to avoid losing biodiversity in the first place, as well as involving stakeholders especially as partners. It also requires the gains in biodiversity to be valuable locally, and to make important contributions towards regional and national priorities for nature conservation. In other words, there is a right way to achieve ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’ that brings about long-lasting and meaningful benefits for our environment, society and economy.
This ‘right way’ is articulated in standards and guidelines produced by an international community on achieving No Net Loss and Net Gain targets for biodiversity. In the United Kingdom, the government has international and national commitments on biodiversity that include halting the loss of biodiversity and reaching net gains. Development can contribute signigicantly towards realising these commitments. However, until now there has been no standard for the UK industry on good practice for achieving Biodiversity Net Gain.