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Pollard E.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Victurine R.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Tizard R.,Wildlife Conservation Society
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility | Year: 2016

The Taninthayi Nature Reserve Project (TNRP) has been operating in southern Myanmar since 2005. TNRP involves payments from three companies to support the creation and on-going management of a protected area as compensation for potential impacts to biodiversity from the construction and operation of three gas pipelines. This public-private partnership is unique in Myanmar and could form the basis of a model which can be applied to other developments in the country. We reviewed relevent literature and interviewed staff and stakeholders involved with the development and implementation of the TNRP in order to understand the model, identify some key lessons. As a framework for comparison the model was reviewed against current leading practice, primarily the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standard 6 (PS6), and the Business and Biodiversity Offets Program (BBOP) Standard on Biodiversity Offsets. This review revealed that the project has broadly met its stated goals and objectives: • The companies have met their financial commitments. • Stakeholder criticism of pipeline biodiversity impacts has been limited. • A protected area has been established and managed since 2005, with socio-economic development programmes delivered to surrounding communities. • The capacity of government staff involved in the TNRP has been improved. The TNRP was not originally developed to be in alignment with modern standards and the TNRP is not an offset. The TNRP thus does not meet current mitigation or offsetting best-practice in many areas. Our review does, however, highlight key lessons learned for developments to limit their impact on biodiversity and manage the associated risks effectively: • Impact assessments should thoroughly analyse direct and indirect impacts to biodiversity. • The mitigation hierarchy should be followed during the construction and operation of infrastructure. • Should offsets be required, it is necessary to quantify biodiversity losses from development impacts and gains from conservation activities in order to identify how much compensation is enough. • Monitoring of actions on the ground is the only way to determine their success in mitigating residual impacts to biodiversity. Copyright 2016, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Pollard E.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Bennun L.,Biodiversity Consultancy
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility | Year: 2016

Engaging constructively with stakeholders is vital to managing Biodiversity and Ecosytem Services (BES) risks successfully. Understanding and engaging with stakeholders is relevant at both corporate and operational levels and is necessary throughout the project life cycle. We have identified a wide range of potential stakeholders who have BES interests and how these interests can provide opportunities for risk management at a corporate or asset level. Stakeholder engagement, especially regarding relationships with local communities around assets, is often a key part of a company?s activities to manage social risk, but has been underlooked as part of managing environmental riks. Stakeholders with an interest in BES are both internal and external to the company, and exist at a global, national and local level. They can be from groups ranging from company staff, or local communities near an asset, to scientists and non-governmental organisations national and internationally. Engaging with different stakeholder groups can help:•comply with regulators, meet the expectations of lenders, and thus enable financing;•enhance transparency and improve reputation, and thus the social licence to operate;•identify important biodiversity features (for example during an impact assessment screening process);•understand the status of important biodiversty features, how relevant stakeholders value them (for example as part of baseline studies);•help determine Priority ES that could be impacted by the project, that are important components of livelihood and that are irreplaceable (for example as part of an ecosystem services review), and thus avoid social conflict, and potential project delays;•identify actions to mitigate impacts on BES;•build partnerships with parties who will implement long-term elements of the mitigation hierarchy (for example for restoration programs and biodiversity offsets). Many of the issues which may arise regarding stakeholder expectations on BES are partly or predominantly cultural, socio-economic or political, rather than ecological. It is crucial therefore to coordinate the different components of engagement (environmental, social and public relations) and that the relevant company/project teams collaborate so that they understand how stakeholders value and use BES and their expectations concerning BES management. Copyright 2016, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Pilgrim J.D.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Brownlie S.,De Villiers Brownlie Associates | Ekstrom J.M.M.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Gardner T.A.,University of Cambridge | And 8 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2013

Biodiversity offsetting is increasingly being used to reconcile the objectives of conservation and development. It is generally acknowledged that there are limits to the kinds of impacts on biodiversity that can or should be offset, yet there is a paucity of policy guidance as to what defines these limits and the relative difficulty of achieving a successful offset as such limits are approached. In order to improve the consistency and defensibility of development decisions involving offsets, and to improve offset design, we outline a general process for evaluating the relative offsetability of different impacts on biodiversity. This process culminates in a framework that establishes the burden of proof necessary to confirm the appropriateness and achievability of offsets, given varying levels of: conservation concern for affected biodiversity; residual impact magnitude; opportunity for suitable offsets; and feasibility of offset implementation in practice. Rankings for biodiversity conservation concern are drawn from existing conservation planning tools and approaches, including the IUCN Red List, Key Biodiversity Areas, and international bank environmental safeguard policies. We hope that the proposed process will stimulate much-needed scientific and policy debate to improve the integrity and accountability of both regulated and voluntary biodiversity offsetting. ©2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Bennun L.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Pollard E.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Starkey M.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Temple H.,Biodiversity Consultancy
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility | Year: 2016

Increasingly, development projects are managing biodiversity and ecosystem service risk through the application of IFC?s Performance Standard 6. Central to PS6 is the identification of Critical Habitat, which in turn requires the definition of one or more Discrete Management Units. Guidance for this is limited, and DMU delineation can be especially challenging for linear infrastructure, which may have a small direct footprint but can run for long distances across many ecological zones. Options for DMU definition for linear infrastructure include 1. A single large DMU including contiguous habitat or the administrative unit fully including the pipeline. This simple approach may be appropriate when infrastructure runs across a single landscape containing migratory or nomadic wildlife. Elsewhere, the resulting DMU may be unfeasibly large (including an entire country/province or several ecoregions and thus not helpful for mitigation planning. 2. Defining a buffer of fixed or variable width around linear infrastructure. This is also a simple approach but usually lacks the ecological and/or management rationale required by PS6. However, this may be the only feasible approach in some circumstances, e.g. the open ocean. Buffer size should consider the infrastructure?s likely area of influence, including indirect and cumulative impacts. This will be larger than the simple footprint. 3. Defining multiple DMUs, where a buffer around the linear infrastructure intersects with coherent ecological or management units of recognised high biodiversity value. This approach allows some degree of spatial differentiation of areas that are or are not Critical Habitat, assuming that ecological or management units at a suitable spatial scale can be identified. Multiple DMUs can be combined with a 'simple buffer? approach for a more comprehensive area of assessment. DMUs specific to one or more biodiversity features are a cross-cutting approach that can be used with any of the above. This may be effective if features can easily be grouped at different spatial scales (e.g. wide-ranging mammals vs. plants confined to a particular geology). Greater complexity and possible difficulty of communication needs to be weighed against the greater specificity that can be achieved. These approaches are illustrated with an example from Simandou, Guinea, for a 640 km long rail corridor. This uses a simple buffer (20 km each side) to identify multiple intersecting DMUs for Critical Habitat determination. There is no one right way to define DMUs for linear infrastructure. Methods should apply 'common sense? taking into account the project context and bear in mind the overall aim, to allow Critical Habitat determination at an appropriate ecological/management scale. A precautionary approach is preferable, for instance to ensure buffers are wide enough to encompass potential impacts and through collective rather than individual assessment of DMUs against PS6 threshold. Copyright 2016, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Rainey H.J.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Pollard E.H.B.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Dutson G.,Biodiversity Consultancy | Ekstrom J.M.M.,Biodiversity Consultancy | And 3 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2015

Increased recognition of the business case for managing corporate impacts on the environment has helped drive increasingly detailed and quantified corporate environmental goals. Foremost among these are goals of no net loss (NNL) and net positive impact (NPI). We assess the scale and growth of such corporate goals. Since the first public, company-wide NNL/NPI goal in 2001, 32 companies have set similar goals, of which 18 specifically include biodiversity. Mining companies have set the most NNL/NPI goals, and the majority of those that include biodiversity, despite the generally lower total global impact of the mining industry on biodiversity compared to the agriculture or forestry industries. This could be linked to the mining industry's greater participation in best practice bodies, high-profile impacts, and higher profit margins per area of impact. The detail and quality of present goals vary widely. We examined specific NNL/NPI goals and assessed the extent to which their key components were likely to increase the effectiveness of these goals in benefiting biodiversity and managing business risk. Nonetheless, outcomes are more important than goals, and we urge conservationists to work with companies to both support and monitor their efforts to achieve increasingly ambitious environmental goals. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2014.

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