by David Stone,

July 24, 2023

Improving opportunities for biodiversity to thrive is one of the three core objectives underpinning Permian Global projects – the other two being reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas and improving the lives of local and indigenous communities.

Biodiversity is the natural world around us. It’s the entirety of the animals, plants and microorganisms that we share the planet with. How these different organisms live and interact with each other creates ecosystems, which are the support mechanisms for all life on Earth.

Understanding the imperative for humans to coexist and maintain healthy ecosystems, means recognising the need for a careful balance between human development and disruptions to the natural environment.

In practical terms, it is important to ensure all developments undertake Biodiversity Impact Assessments (BIAs) to evaluate all likely consequences (both positive and negative) of development activities. This must help inform any necessary compensation, whether that’s through additional habitat creation or enhancement or the use of another form of offsetting the negative impacts.

Permian Global’s Dr. Pedro Campos, a GIS specialist in the Permian Brasil team, participated in two recent studies from the University of Sao Paulo that examined the effectiveness of environmental offsets on biodiversity net loss.

Evaluating the potential of biodiversity offsets to achieve net gain by Barbara Almeida Souza, Josianne Claudia Sales Rosa, Pedro Bueno R. Campos, Luis Enrique Sánchez [CLICK HERE]

Enhancing ecological connectivity through biodiversity offsets to mitigate impacts on habitats of large mammals in tropical forest environments by Josianne Claudia Sales Rosa, Pedro Bueno Rocha Campos, Caroline Bianca Nascimento, Barbara Almeida Souza, Rebeca Valetich and Luis Enrique Sánchez. [CLICK HERE]

The evaluation of the effectiveness of the offsets goes through three basic principles: equivalence, additionality, and permanence.

These three concepts can be evaluated both in terms of planning phase and the results, which can amplify the potential for no net loss.

The evaluation methodologies used in the articles allowed for long-term studies and, therefore, offered the prospect alternative of locations and offsets combination types that were more viable for each impacted environment. The studies also made it possible to understand, for example, how the reestablishment of the connectivity of isolated fragments increased the possibility of displacement of large mammals.

The results show that restoring small native vegetation remnants with very high potential of connectivity associated with the conservation of large fragments increased the potential gain in biodiversity for the study area. It was also possible to show that the increase in biodiversity is not always directly related to the massive restoration of vegetation. Connectivity must therefore be an indispensable factor in evaluating both implementation projects and the results of mitigation proposals.