The Why and How of Offsets

Willeen (W) Olivier

Offsets are not very widely used in the EIA process, and conservation organizations are not structured to use the tool very effectively yet.  It can however be a very valuable tool in protected area expansion, and can be used with good, structured outcomes if the governance structures are in place and it is properly planned.  Some provinces require offsets on a regular basis, others have never done so.  This often corresponds with the existence of Biodiversity Conservation Plans, and sections in the conservation authority that specifically deals with EIAs on a structured basis.  There are a number of existing offset arrangements, some more successful than others, and some total failures.  This paper will look at existing offset arrangements, and what the factors are that made these offsets successful or not.  There are short-term measures that can be implemented to make offset arrangements more successful in the short term, and to do this the EIA process needs to be managed more effectively.  The Biodiversity Stewardship programme also offers advantages and disadvantages.  It will also explore the potential for creating an ideal situation that could be implemented to use development to achieve conservation targets, as envisaged by the NEMA user pay principle, and how the rapidly developing Biodiversity Stewardship Programme can contribute to this.

Presentation Topic

The Why and How of Offsets


Contact Ms Olivier:

Department of Environmental Affairs, Private Bag X447, Pretoria, 0001


Email Ms Olivier