When it comes to biodiversity the UK is one of the most impoverished places on Earth. To restore it, we need new financial models for the countryside” wrote Environment Bank Chairman David Hill in an article published in the Royal Institue of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Journal this week.
The article, which is in a journal targetted at members of the world’s leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property, infrastructure and construction, addressed the state of biodiversity in the UK and outlined how the problem might be addressed moving forward.
Professor Hill outlined three broad areas that collectively would enable the creation of the Restoration Economy:
- Land management contracts which should be secured through locally relevant 25-year contracts with farmers and land managers in accordance with a management plan for their farm. Farmers would bid to secure contracts either singly or by collaboration, with the later offering opportunities for habitat restoration at scale.
- Habitat offsetting and habitat banking schemes brokered by an independent company such as The Environment Bank. Developers would purchase conservation credits which can then be invested in new areas of wildlife habitat, created working with farmers and landowners.
- Corporate natural capital accounting where corporates look to offset their impacts by investing in projects that rebuild and restore natural capital assets through the purchase of environmental credits.
For the full journal article click here..
David is chairman and founding owner of The Environment Bank Ltd which he set up in 2006 to introduce the concept of compensation, via biodiversity offsetting and habitat banking, into the UK because of his concerns at the way biodiversity was treated within the planning and development sector.
David’s concept of biodiversity compensation, ensuring developments provide net gains to biodiversity, has been embedded in the government’s 25-year Environment Plan and National Planning Policy Framework and is being mandated through the enactment of the Environment Bill in late 2020/early 2021 such that biodiversity net gain will be a requirement on all development’.