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Panel Publishes Fifth Report in its Emerging Lessons Series on the Topic of Biodiversity Offsets

Biodiversity Offsets Cover Image

The Inspection Panel on May 18, 2020, published the fifth report in its Emerging Lessons Series based on three Panel investigations of the Kalagala offset associated with Bujagali Power Project in Uganda.

From those investigations, the Panel report provides six insights into the use of biodiversity offsets in development:

  • Offsets should be the last mitigation option and used with precaution.
  • The design of an offset must be systematic and defensible.
  • Measures of biodiversity losses and gains must be transparent and reliable.
  • Resources and capacity need to be well planned to implement the offset.
  • The offset should preferably be secured before the project impacts occur.
  • Effects of offsets on local lives and livelihoods must be assessed.

To read the full report, click here.

The report is the first in the Emerging Lessons Series since the Board of Executive Directors formalized the Panel’s advisory role in October 2018. Prior reports in the series identified lessons from Panel cases on involuntary resettlement, indigenous peoples, environmental assessment and consultation, participation and disclosure of information.

The insights and the lessons identified in the reports are intended to help build the institutional knowledge base, enhance accountability, foster better results in project outcomes, and, ultimately, contribute to more effective development.

Coinciding with the publication of the latest report, the Panel will host a virtual discussion on the challenges of implementing biodiversity offsets as part of development. The discussion will start at 10 am U.S. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, May 20, and be streamed live on YouTube.

Panel Chair Imrana Jalal will moderate the discussion, which will include World Bank Executive Director Anne Kabagambe, International Rivers Policy Director Josh Klemm, George Ledec, who recently retired as lead ecologist at the World Bank, and Susie Brownlie, a registered natural scientist in the field of environmental science who served as an expert consultant on a recent Panel investigation.