The privatisation of biodiversity? possible new approaches to nature conservation law in the UK

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    Although the protection of biodiversity in the UK could be strengthened by incremental development of existing measures, there is potential to adopt new approaches. Three such innovations, some of which are already used in other countries, are examined: conservation easements, biodiversity offsets and paying for ecosystem services. Whereas the current approach relies heavily on the actions of state bodies, the alternative methods offer the opportunity to introduce greater flexibility and to harness the initiative and resources of a wider range of actors, as has occurred in other areas of environmental regulation. The desirability of such new methods must, however, be given careful consideration in terms of suitability to the needs of biodiversity and issues over coherence, transparency, accountability and public participation. There is also a question over the effect of 'commoditisation' of what has so far been viewed as a common heritage.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)203-231
    Number of pages29
    JournalJournal of Environmental Law
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Biodiversity
    • Privatisation
    • Conservation easements
    • Biodiversity offsets
    • Ecosystem services
    • Common heritage

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