Although the main focus of the BBS Hub is looking at ecological enhancement of coastal infrastructure, as part of the wider news service that the Forum undertakes for its members we will also be collating resources on biodiversity net gain and natural capital.
Biodiversity Net Gain is an approach to development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before. Where a development has an impact on biodiversity it encourages developers to provide an increase in appropriate natural habitat and ecological features over and above that being affected in such a way it is hoped that the current loss of biodiversity through development will be halted and ecological networks can be restored.
The National Planning Policy Framework encourages net gains for biodiversity to be sought through planning policies and decisions. It can be achieved on-site, off-site or through a combination of on-site and off-site measures.
Natural capital refers to all of the parts of nature that we rely on because it produces value or provides benefits to people; this might be direct such as the food we eat or indirect like the regulation of our climate. Damage to these natural capital assets could not only impact ecological functioning, but also our economy that relies on them, and our cultural or societal well-being.