Charles Darwin House, London.
22 June, 29 September, 7 December 2010.

The Natural Capital Initiative organised three inter-disciplinary workshops to address challenges for the increased use of biodiversity offsetting in the UK. The workshop series, entitled “Towards no net loss, and beyond” focussed on three main topics: practical challenges for biodiversity offsetting, information requirements and the potential to offset ecosystem service loss. Participants represented a wide variety of technical disciplines as well as the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Key messages

  • In developing any new policy framework for effective biodiversity offsetting, carefully engage interest groups, the public and decision-makers at all levels.
  • Current methodologies, tools and evidence are sufficient to begin increased use of biodiversity offsetting. It is still necessary to evaluate current scientific knowledge needs to increase the use of biodiversity offsetting.
  • Good quality biodiversity data are needed to underpin the development and operation of biodiversity offsetting in the UK. Whilst the data resource available in the UK is world leading, there are still limitations which need to be resolved.
  • The location of biodiversity offsets should be planned strategically in order to improve ecological networks and enhance the connectivity of landscapes.
  • The data which exist in the UK are not sufficient to allow offsetting for ecosystem services. Data collection must be augmented to encompass ecosystem services, and existing data brought together.
  • The capacity of stakeholders, including local authorities, to deliver ecosystem service offsetting must be improved, by developing guidance.


  1. Workshop: Addressing practical challenges for biodiversity offsetting in the UK
  2. Workshop: Addressing scientific and environmental information challenges for biodiversity offsetting the UK
  3. Workshop: Designing a system to offset for the residual impacts of terrestrial development on ecosystem service provision

Workshop sponsorship
Workshops 2 and 3 were supported by a Connect A award from the Natural Environment Research Council.