Biodiversity Net Gain is an approach to development that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was beforehand. It's a part of the broader concept of environmental net gain, which also includes wider environmental factors such as ecosystem services.
The principle behind biodiversity net gain is that any negative impacts on biodiversity caused by development projects should be balanced by projects that enhance it, leading to a net gain overall. The aim is to ensure that habitats are not just protected but are enhanced and left in a better state for wildlife.
Here's a basic step-by-step explanation of how it's applied:
In the UK, the government has committed to mandating biodiversity net gain in the planning system, so that all new developments will need to demonstrate that they will deliver an increase in biodiversity.
It's worth noting that while biodiversity net gain is an important tool for conserving biodiversity, it is not a solution to all conservation challenges. It is most effective when used in combination with other approaches, such as protected areas and landscape-scale conservation initiatives.