Skip to main content

The role of ‘No Net Loss’ policies in conserving biodiversity threatened by the global infrastructure boom

zu Ermgassen, Sophus O. S. E., Utamiputri, Pratiwi, Bennun, Leon, Edwards, Stephen, Bull, Joseph (2019) The role of ‘No Net Loss’ policies in conserving biodiversity threatened by the global infrastructure boom. One Earth, . ISSN 2590-3322. (In press) (doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2019.10.019)


Over US$60 trillion is predicted to be spent on new infrastructure globally by 2040. Is it possible to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 9 (develop infrastructure networks) without sacrificing Goals 14 and 15 (ending biodiversity loss)? We explore the potential role of No Net Loss (NNL) policies in reconciling these SDGs. Assessing country-level overlaps between planned infrastructure expansion, infrastructure-threatened biodiversity, and national biodiversity compensation policies, around half of predicted infrastructure and infrastructure-threatened biodiversity falls within countries with some form of mandatory compensation policy. However, these policies currently have shortcomings, are unlikely to achieve NNL in biodiversity, and could risk doing more harm than good. We summarise policy transformations required for NNL policies to mitigate all infrastructure impacts on biodiversity. To achieve SDGs 9 alongside 14 and 15, capitalising on the global coverage of mandatory compensation policies and rapidly transforming them into robust NNL policies (emphasising impact avoidance) should be an urgent priority.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.oneear.2019.10.019
Uncontrolled keywords: No net loss, biodiversity offsets, infrastructure expansion, environmental impact assessment, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), biodiversity compensation, conservation policy
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: S.O.S. Zu-Ermgassen
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 08:57 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2019 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
zu Ermgassen, Sophus O. S. E.:
Bull, Joseph:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year