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Biodiversity offsets are conservation projects used mainly by business to counterbalance the …


Biology Articles » Conservation Biology » A database of schemes that prioritize sites and species based on their conservation value: focusing business on biodiversity » Conclusion

Conclusion
- A database of schemes that prioritize sites and species based on their conservation value: focusing business on biodiversity

Offsets help reduce the perpetual fragmentation of landscapes by allowing companies to aggregate their conservation contributions into large areas of high conservation value (e.g., through conservation banks, or through informal, opportunistic collaborations). Where clear conservation priorities have not already been worked out, one would want to conduct a regional prioritization exercise, (see e.g., for North Zululand [24] or the Cape Floristic Region [25,26]), using the integrated conservation planning techniques mentioned above [27,28]. When setting priorities, both representation and persistence should be key targets: i.e., representation of all species and the habitats they occupy, and persistence of both species and the ecological and evolutionary processes that allow biodiversity to persist over time. As Brooks et al. [11] point out: "drawing the lessons of global conservation prioritization down to a much finer scale is now the primary concern for conservation planning." This database, especially with links to the schemes' website and maps, is a first step in this process. Our database can be used as an introduction to the conservation issues relevant to a given region. It may also provide a convenient starting point for new prioritization exercises, identifying key actors and resources (e.g., data sources, experts, publications).


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