Net gain: Biodiversity metrics ‘no substitute’ for ecological expertise

The measures in the Environment Bill mandating biodiversity net gain in new building projects could be undermined if developers rely on generalised assumptions about the value of different habitats, a consultancy has warned.

The bill, which is currently being scrutinised in parliament, requires a 10% gain in biodiversity from new developments, either on the land to be developed, land offsite, or by purchasing biodiversity credits. 

However, environmental consultancy EPR has said that by relying on biodiversity metrics to establish a proxy measure for habitats’ biodiversity value, developers risk failing to account for the reality on the ground. 

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