Conservation credits put a price on biodiversity lossApril 2012
The UK's first online 'biodiversity offsetting' scheme has been introduced to allow conservation groups, farmers and landowners to 'sell' wildlife sites to companies wishing to temper their environmental impact.
The Conservation Credit Exchange was formed by the Environment Bank and the US-based Mission Markets, which will run the project. It will allow companies and conservationists to trade biodiversity and cash, "putting a transferable value on biodiversity loss and establishing private sector funding for the long-term management of conservation sites", say the founders.
Conservation organisations, including the Forestry Commission, have already registered sites on the platform, allowing developers to make purchases to offset their biodiversity impacts.
David Hill, Environment Bank chairman, said: "This is the first step in establishing a definitive market mechanism that will give developers greater certainty from the planning process, reduce delays and really deliver long-term conservation gain.
"The purchase of conservation credits will explicitly and transparently demonstrate developers' commitment to the environment, and will deliver truly sustainable development – development that directly leads to environmental, as well as economic, recovery."
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