Offsetting the impacts of mining to achieve no net loss of native vegetation

Sonter, L. J., Barrett, D. J. and Soares-Filho, B. S. (2014) Offsetting the impacts of mining to achieve no net loss of native vegetation. Conservation Biology, 28 4: 1068-1076. doi:10.1111/cobi.12260

Author Sonter, L. J.
Barrett, D. J.
Soares-Filho, B. S.
Title Offsetting the impacts of mining to achieve no net loss of native vegetation
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2014-08-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12260
Open Access Status
Volume 28
Issue 4
Start page 1068
End page 1076
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
 Offsets are a novel conservation tool, yet using them to achieve no net loss of biodiversity is challenging. This is especially true when using conservation offsets (i.e., protected areas) because achieving no net loss requires avoiding equivalent loss. Our objective was to determine if offsetting the impacts of mining achieves no net loss of native vegetation in Brazil's largest iron mining region. We used a land-use change model to simulate deforestation by mining to 2020; developed a model to allocate conservation offsets to the landscape under 3 scenarios (baseline, no new offsets; current practice, like-for-like [by vegetation type] conservation offsetting near the impact site; and threat scenario, like-for-like conservation offsetting of highly threatened vegetation); and simulated nonmining deforestation to 2020 for each scenario to quantify avoided deforestation achieved with offsets. Mines cleared 3570 ha of native vegetation by 2020. Under a 1:4 offset ratio, mining companies would be required to conserve >14,200 ha of native vegetation, doubling the current extent of protected areas in the region. Allocating offsets under current practice avoided deforestation equivalent to 3% of that caused by mining, whereas allocating under the threat scenario avoided 9%. Current practice failed to achieve no net loss because offsets did not conserve threatened vegetation. Explicit allocation of offsets to threatened vegetation also failed because the most threatened vegetation was widely dispersed across the landscape, making conservation logistically difficult. To achieve no net loss with conservation offsets requires information on regional deforestation trajectories and the distribution of threatened vegetation. However, in some regions achieving no net loss through conservation may be impossible. In these cases, other offsetting activities, such as revegetation, will be required.
Keyword Additionality
Averted loss
Avoided deforestation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 27 MAR 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry
Official 2015 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 16 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 08 Apr 2014, 01:47:07 EST by Ms Laura Sonter on behalf of Sustainable Minerals Institute