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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Restoring degraded landscapes: assessing the utility of biodiversity offsets for the business sector in Africa
Authors:Chikozho, Claudious
De Jongh, Derick
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1753-7274)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:nature conservation
environmental management
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/18186874.2014.987955
Abstract:Increasing pressure for the conversion of tropical and sub-tropical wetlands and forests to alternative land usage raises the possibility that biodiversity offsets will increasingly take centre stage in biodiversity conservation planning and ecosystem restoration discourses. This article explores the major discourses on and utility of biodiversity offsets in the African context with a view to identifying and articulating some of the challenges and opportunities evident in attempts to operationalise the concept in practice. The discussion establishes that as intuitively pleasing as they have become in recent years, with potentially large benefits expected to be derived from offset initiatives, several significant hurdles need to be overcome for them to become well established practice in Africa. For instance, some observers have argued strongly that, in practice, land use and wetland mitigation in most countries have come nowhere near achieving the goal of 'no-net-loss'. There are also enduring questions about the credibility of the formulae used to calculate net-losses and net-gains in biodiversity offset schemes. In the light of these and other outstanding questions, the article concludes that biodiversity offsets may seem simple but are much more complex to design and implement to the extent that they become really convincing as a conservation tool for businesses in Africa. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]