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Public preferences for the design of biodiversity offset policies in Australia

Abbie Rogers () and Michael Burton

No 231533, Working Papers from University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Abstract: Understanding the social acceptability of biodiversity offsets is important in order to properly design offset policy. This study used a discrete choice experiment to quantify preferences of the Australian community for a migratory shorebird offset, in the context of an oil and gas development. The attributes in the choice experiment were comprised of several offset policy characteristics, with a view to informing future policy design of the social dimensions related to offset acceptability. We found that the practice of offsetting was accepted by the community as a means to allow economic development. The ability to exchange protection of a species impacted by the development for a more endangered species was a desirable policy characteristic, as was having the offset implemented by a third party or the government, as compared with the company responsible for the development. Direct offset activities were preferred over indirect, and there was a strong aversion to locating the offset at a site other than where the impact occurred. While some policy characteristics were less desirable from a social perspective, it was possible to compensate for these by increasing the amount of biodiversity protected by the offset.

Keywords: Environmental; Economics; and; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-02-17
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm and nep-env
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.231533

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Handle: RePEc:ags:uwauwp:231533