The expansion of our towns and cities, development of new infrastructure, and ongoing resource extraction and energy generation, must be carefully managed to minimise impact on the natural world upon which we all rely. The mitigation hierarchy is a fundamental tool manage these impacts.
The Impact Mitigation and Ecological Compensation Thematic Group (IMEC), part of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, aims to support ongoing improvement towards best practice in the application of the mitigation hierarchy. It will include work to provide guidance on linking mitigation (including avoidance) and compensation efforts to global and jurisdiction-level biodiversity targets, and to related environmental and social science-based targets, with due consideration for indigenous peoples and other stewards of nature.
This thematic group builds upon the legacy of programs that have played a key role in developing best practice in the mitigation hierarchy, most notably the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP) which operated from 2004 to 2018. It also builds upon the collaborations developed through the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) Compensatory Conservation working group (2016-2019).
"Our goal is to act as a forum for the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and the generation of ideas around how we can continually refine and enhance our ability to balance development with good outcomes for people and the planet."
— Martine Maron, Thematic Group Lead
IMEC will strive to continue aspects of the foundational work of these and other programs, and maintain the momentum generated in aligning business, governments, environmental professionals and researchers to achieve co-developed solutions to pressing environmental challenges.
Building on the comprehensive suite of resources compiled by BBOP, and key IUCN outputs (Offsets Policy; Offsets database), we will act as a central repository of information on the science and practice of the mitigation hierarchy, including its final step – biodiversity offsetting or other forms of ecological compensation.
IMEC will develop and disseminate guidance around implementation of the mitigation hierarchy and ecological compensation. It will also perform ongoing case study reviews of policy and practice regarding mitigation and compensation design, governance, financing and implementation, building upon significant existing experience and lessons learnt by numerous practitioners and stakeholders.
Through this website, we will facilitate and encourage engagement among stakeholders, via online and in-person events, so that the Impact Mitigation and Ecological Compensation thematic group is a truly global community of practice.
If you would like to become a member of IMEC, you can apply to join the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management here and nominate IMEC as a group of interest - though please note that applications to the CEM are paused until late October.