Upsetting Offsets : A case study of Colombia and their legislation of biodiversity offsetting
Title: Upsetting Offsets - A case study of Colombia and their legislation of biodiversity offsetting
Authors: Linda Levin and Linda Olsson
Background: The global loss of biodiversity is a very timely debate, and experts are actively working on finding new ways to lessen and reverse the negative impacts placed on the environment. One such way is biodiversity offsetting and it is a methodology that is becoming more prevalent within national environmental legislations. Colombia enforced a legislation regarding biodiversity offsetting in 2012, and it quickly became apparent that the process would not progress without its issues.
Aim: The aim of this study is to research the government, NGOs and companies in relation to the legislation of biodiversity offsetting in Colombia established in 2012, to acquire knowledge regarding their roles, relationships and the challenges they are experiencing.
Methodology: The empirical data was collected during a two months field study in Colombia. The data was collected in a qualitative manner, through interviews with employees at governmental entities, NGOs and companies. While conducting the empirical research, theoretical information was gathered, which implies an iterative approach.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, there are various issues to be found in the implementation process of the legislation, both in regards to practical difficulties, as well as in the relationships between the different actors. Some of these problems could be mitigated with a national habitat banking system, where the offsetting activities are managed by an external part.
Key words: Biodiversity offsetting, environmental governance, Colombia, NGOs, the government, companies, roles, relationships, challenges.
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