Hendrik Schoukens An Cliquet

Biodiversity offsetting and restoration under the European Union Habitats Directive: balancing between no net loss and deathbed conservation?

Ecology and Society, 2016, vol 21, nr 4,  1-14

Biodiversity offsets have emerged as one of the most pivotal policy approaches to algin economic developments across many jurisdictions, including the European Union. However, recent case law developments within the EU have considerably limited the leeway for using biodiversity offsets within the context of EU protected sites. In its recent rulings, the CJEU consistently underlined the preventative nature of the protection duties enshrined in the EU Habitats Directive, thereby excluding offsets a generic instrument to facilitate harmful project development within the context of EU protected sites. In this paper the pros and cons of the allegedly strict stance of the CJEU are outlined and discussed against the backdrop of the key challenges in the context of No Net Loss-policies.