Focus on net positive outcomes for nature

07 November 2019

07 November

Global policy-makers are advised to adopt a new approach to reduce biodiversity loss.

Tiffany Hionas

Net positive outcomes on biodiversity is a relatively new concept. In practice, when the presence of a project or operation in an area generates positive impact on biodiversity, the impacts will usually outweigh the disturbances and damages to environments.

A leading group of conservationists at the University of Kent are urging governments to focus on net positive outcomes for nature. This new approach provides a framework structured around efforts to reduce the impact of development and ensure greater benefits to the natural environment. Some of these measures include increasing the number of designated protected areas and retaining and restoring habitats.

Dr Bull, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science at The University of Kent said: 'The loss of native species and habitats is a pattern that is being repeated in gardens, farmlands, wildlands, rivers and oceans across the planet. The current focus on protecting what nature remains is not nearly enough. We must find ways to not only halt, but also to reverse, biodiversity loss. We should be going above and beyond our current actions to seek conservation gains wherever possible.'

With continued infrastructure development and resource extraction to support economic and societal growth, net positive outcomes have an important role to play in advancing sustainable development. Biodiversity impacts are an inevitable consequence of economic development; therefore, this approach offers the opportunity for governments and industry to work hand in hand to achieve positive biodiversity outcomes.

DOI: /10.1038/s41559-019-1022-z

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