New report on the risks of Biodiversity Offsetting

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 14.45.19

“Nature destruction cannot be compensated for” say NGOs warning communities against biodiversity offsetting

As the world’s forests, lands and waters keep being destroyed, the people whose livelihoods are deeply linked to these places cannot continue their way of life and are often pushed into poverty and hunger. At the same time, the very actors profiting from this destruction have found a way to come across as friends of Nature. How is that possible?

Exposing the absurd logic behind this paradox is the goal of a new booklet published by the NGOs Re:Common and Counter Balance. “Biodiversity Offsetting, a threat to life” is a short publication aimed at explaining what biodiversity offsetting is and how it is deployed by private companies – with the support of governments and the legitimization of some conservation organizations and academics ­– to greenwash their reputation and continue with business-as-usual.

Starting from the observation that biodiversity offsetting projects are mainly top-down and imposed on communities with little regard for their wellbeing, the booklet shows through concrete examples and illustrations how this mechanism is nothing but a license to destroy.

While in the eyes of international financial institutions, governments and corporations, the damage to nature and communities is an inevitable price to pay for development and economic growth, the booklet calls on communities to reclaim their fundamental right to decide what is best for them and their territories.

Alessandro Runci, campaigner at Re:Common and author of the booklet, claimed:

“We deem unacceptable that the burden of the protection of Nature is placed on those who are least responsible and most affected by its destruction, while helping corporate polluters to greenwash the impacts of their businesses. It is illogical to replace environmental regulations with perverse mechanisms to trade forests, grasslands, mountains and deserts for profit. Nature is priceless, and it is not for sale.”

Xavier Sol, director of Counter Balance, added:

“The real causes of the destruction of Nature are rooted in a development model designed to take from the many and give to the few. Biodiversity Offsetting allows corporations to continue with their destructive businesses undisturbed. We believe that it is of vital importance that civil society and NGOs stand united against this mechanism, and say: No to biodiversity offsetting!”

Updated dossier on the New Economy of Nature


Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung have just updated their dossier New Economy of Nature!

‘Offsetting is better than doing nothing at all.’

‘Prices must tell the ecological truth.’

These and other popular arguments for an economic valuation of nature are critiqually questioned in our dossier New Economy of Nature. Ten contrasting points illustrate where these common assumptions fall short or where they are just false.

Also NEW in our dossier:

Our dossier illustrates what the concept of the ‘New Economy of Nature’ stands for and why this approach has been of increased interest to economy and politics. We name key actors and institutions that are shaping the discourse and highlight contradictions as well as disputable assumptions.

New report: rejecting Financialization of Nature

08 foei financialization of nature A5 mr

Friends of the Earth International are presenting a new publication from their Forests and Biodiversity Program.

The brochure, “rejecting Financialization of Nature”, explains in a simple way how financialzation works using examples from different countries.  It puts forward a strong position on financialization to raise awareness in the public and should be a useful tool for those lobbying at international and national levels.

Spanish and French language editions are available from Friends of the Earth International directly.

Friends of the Earth International is also publishing materials to support its work about climate finance at the national and international levels, at the UN and UNFCCC, backing Indigenous Peoples and local communities rights to end deforestation and forest degradation.

Drawing together these pieces of work, Isaac Rojas has written an article for The Ecologist magazine: “Local communities, not global financiers, are the best forest managers”.

New paper: “the dangers of commodifying our natural world”


Friends of the Earth Europe has produced a new paper stating that the group believes “nature is not for sale”.

Proposed EU policy would introduce new systems of biodiversity offsetting as a theoretical way to secure “no net loss” of biodiversity.  Friends of the Earth Europe’s paper summarises and explains the problems with this approach.

You can read the report on the Friends of the Earth Europe website.

Making Dreams Come True – New Film

Biodiversity offsetting, making dreams come true from Global Motion on Vimeo.

Biodiversity offsetting makes dreams come true. It is the license that can make bad developers’ dreams a reality.

Across the world offsets already justify the destruction of irreplaceable ecosystems to make way for mining projects, motorways, pipelines …

Europe is the new frontier for biodiversity offsets.The European Union is considering new legislation that permits biodiversity offsets.

Tell the EU that nature is not for sale by responding to their public consultation before 17th October 2014 and sign our letter to the EU.

Background information

Last year more then 140 organisations signed on to the ‘No to biodiversity offsets declaration’. Read all about it here

‘Biodiversity offsetting, making dreams come true’ is a film by the following organisations:

  • Counter Balance
  • Fern
  • Re:Common
  • Carbon Trade Watch
  • WDM

Solidarity with Edinburgh from La Paz, Bolivia


Activists in La Paz took action in solidarity with us in Edinburgh to mark the Forum on Natural Commons.

They have been taking part in a conference on “Commons and new civilisatory paradigms” this week and took time out of their discussions on Wednesday to bring us a message of solidarity. You can read more about their work on their Facebook page.

We hope to share photos and talks from tonight’s Forum event in Scotland over the next few days.  Stay in the discussion at #notforsale.

Message from Edinburgh to Warsaw

Nature Not For Sale Forum 01

A big thank you to everyone who took part in last night’s Forum on Natural Commons. We had a fantastic evening joined by Brazilian activist Camila Moreno and our keynote speakers from around the UK and shared food and ideas.

At the end of the evening we gathered together to send a message of solidarity from Scotland to activists in Warsaw defending nature at the the UN climate talks.