Biodiversity Valuation and No Net Loss CPD

Posted by Sarah Booley on 7/04/2015

Ecosulis has been engaging with clients about biodiversity valuation and the principle of No Net Loss through our programme of Continued Professional Development (CPD) presentations. We have recently been invited to speak at the offices of some of our largest clients such as BAM Nuttall to provide further information on these principles.

Biodiversity valuation provides an opportunity to empirically measure biodiversity on a site. At Ecosulis this depends on the use of multiple indicators including species richness, population density, species specific assessments and Biodiversity Indices. Projects we have worked on in the past have ranged from Sites of Special Scientific Interest to land owned by Utility companies. These assessments provide an overview of a sites biodiversity and allow us to identify opportunities for improvement on a sites as well as improving connectivity between sites, particularly when taking a catchment wide approach to Green Infrastructure.

Our quality valuation methodology assesses No Net Loss and also provides a way to assess a sites impact long term, including by measuring against established targets such as Biodiversity 2020, which aims to:

"Halt overall biodiversity loss, support healthy well-functioning ecosystems and establish coherent ecological networks, with more and better places for nature for the benefit of wildlife and people."

Biodiversity considerations are also key to the National Planning Policy Framework in England, Planning Policy Wales and the National Planning Framework for Scotland.

The greatest benefits of biodiversity valuation and assessment can been seen by incorporating valuation and geographic information systems (GIS) which provides opportunities for further analysis and mapping.

It is recommended that planning for No Net Loss is done at the earliest possible stage of a project, not just to deliver long term ecological benefits but ensure that the project complies with Planning requirements, avoids unnecessary works, avoid delays in the project by pre-planning works to take place during survey seasons.

By developing an understanding of the ecological value of a site management decisions can be made at an early stage in a projects lifecycle, including the consideration of biodiversity offsetting and forecasting the value of potential ecological enhancements.

For more information about Biodiversity Valuation and No Net Loss visit our Biodiversity Quality Calculator page or to find out how Ecosulis can help your project give us a call or drop an email to info@ecosulis.co.uk