30 April 2018
Biodiversity offsetting (BO) is aimed at achieving no net loss of biodiversity in the context of economic development. Through a choice experiment in Northern France, we show that farmers have a clear preference for not signing up BO contracts. The contracts they accept may only be suitable for offsetting temporary impacts on already degraded areas of natural habitat but not for permanent impacts on high-quality habitat. We find that the introduction of a conditional monetary bonus can improve the organisational and ecological efficiency of BO because it increases the enrolled acreage in a BO contract per farmer albeit at an increased cost for developers.