Environment Agency backs ‘biobanking’ trading scheme

The UK’s leading environmental regulator supports a new trading scheme that will pay farmers to convert their land into a threatened coastal habitat.

Hamford Water habitat reserve, Essex (credit: Mike Page)Use of conservation credits in the UK has come a step closer, with the Environment Agency entering into an agreement with the Environment Bank, a small company set up to promote the concept four years ago.

The idea is that developers whose projects damage wildlife habitats agree to pay money, or credits, into a central fund or ‘biobank’. The amount is determined by how much natural habitat is lost and how important it is judged to be. The credits would then be used to finance habitat restoration and creation elsewhere.

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