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Seeking convergence on the key concepts in "no net loss" policy

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Joseph William Bull, Ascelin Gordon, James E.M. Watson, Martine Maron

Biodiversity conservation policies incorporating a no net loss (NNL) principle are being implemented in many countries. However, there are linguistic and conceptual inconsistencies in the use of terms underlying these NNL policies.
We identify inconsistencies that emerge in the usage of eight key terms and phrases associated with NNL policies: biodiversity, frames of reference (i.e. baselines, counterfactuals), no net loss, mitigation hierarchy, biodiversity offset, in-kind/out-of-kind, direct/indirect and multipliers.
For each term, we make recommendations to support conceptual convergence, reduce ambiguity and improve clarity in communication and policy documentation. However, we also warn of the challenges in achieving convergence, especially given the linguistic inconsistencies in several of these key concepts among countries in which NNL policies are employed.
Policy implications. The recommendations made in this article, on improving clarity and supporting convergence on key no net loss (NNL) concepts, should help eliminate ambiguity in policy documentation. This is crucial if policymakers are to design robust policies that are (i) transparent, (ii) translatable into practice in a consistent manner and (iii) sufficiently understood and supported by stakeholders to be effective in practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
Volume53
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1686–1693
Number of pages8
ISSN0021-8901
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

ID: 164134334