The plan to protect wildlife displaced by the Hume Highway has failed

Date: 17, Oct, 2017
Author(s): David Lindenmayer   Martine Maron   Megan Evans   |   David Lindenmayer, Martine Maron, Megan C. Evans, Philip Gibbons
Publisher: The Conversation

Project 5.1 It’s no secret that human development frequently comes at a cost to other creatures. As our urban footprint expands, native habitat contracts. To compensate for this, most Australian governments require developers to invest in biodiversity offsetting, where habitat is created or protected elsewhere to counterbalance the impact of construction. Although biodiversity offsetting is frequently used in Australia – and is becoming increasingly popular around the world – we rarely know whether offsets are actually effective. That’s why we spent four years monitoring the program designed to offset the environmental losses caused by widening the Hume Highway between Holbrook and Coolac, New South Wales. Our research has found it was completely ineffective.