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Safeguards for enhancing ecological compensation in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6649-5232
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2017 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 64, 186-199 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ecological compensation (EC) is being explored as a policy instrument for the European Union's 'No Net Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services' initiative. EC is commonly associated with the Polluter-Pays Principle, but we propose the Developer-Pays Principle as a more comprehensive principle. Safeguards that are relevant to local and national contexts are needed when addressing social-ecological resilience in the face of risks associated with EC. The operationalisation of EC in Sweden is assessed through two case studies: the E12 highway and Mertainen mine. The institutional design and implementation procedures are investigated through semi-structured interviews as well as an analysis of legal and other written documents. Using a multi-level governance framework, we examine four key disputed issues within compensation. Our results suggest that (i) Risk of a license-to-trash can be minimised; (ii) Complementary quantitative and qualitative ecological valuation methods are needed to achieve additionality and No Net Loss; (iii) Compensation pools may be a promising strategy to secure land availability; and (iv) Social safeguards are vital for EC in high-income countries as well, where they are currently understudied. We conclude that EC cannot be the main instrument for nature conservation, but rather complementary to a strong legal framework that protects biodiversity and ecosystems in addition to the sustained and equitable benefits of ecosystem services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 64, 186-199 p.
Keyword [en]
Biodiversity safeguards, Social safeguards, Mitigation hierarchy, Social-ecological systems, Biodiversity leakage, Convention on Biological Diversity
National Category
Biological Sciences Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-143250DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.02.035ISI: 000405881100018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-143250DiVA: diva2:1097225
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2017-05-22 Created: 2017-05-22 Last updated: 2017-08-21Bibliographically approved

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