Public preferences for the design of biodiversity offset policies in Australia

Understanding the social acceptability of biodiversity offsets is important in order to properly design offset policy. This study used a discrete choice experiment to quantify preferences of the Australian community for a migratory shorebird offset, in the context of an oil and gas development. The attributes in the choice experiment were comprised of several offset policy characteristics, with a view to informing future policy design of the social dimensions related to offset acceptability. We found that the practice of offsetting was accepted by the community as a means to allow economic development. The ability to exchange protection of a species impacted by the development for a more endangered species was a desirable policy characteristic, as was having the offset implemented by a third party or the government, as compared with the company responsible for the development. Direct offset activities were preferred over indirect, and there was a strong aversion to locating the offset at a site other than where the impact occurred. While some policy characteristics were less desirable from a social perspective, it was possible to compensate for these by increasing the amount of biodiversity protected by the offset.

Issue Date:
Feb 17 2016
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
PURL Identifier:
JEL Codes:
Q510; Q570; Q580
Series Statement:
Working papers

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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