6.7.4 Other approaches

Many other approaches have evolved to confront biodiversity loss and respond to related drivers. Biodiversity offsets create biodiversity benefits to compensate for losses (Gordon et al. 2015; Apostolopoulou and Adams 2017). Controversially based on the monetization of nature (Adams 2014; Costanza et al. 2017), offset programmes have been developed in numerous countries within the last ten years. Monetary valuation can serve as a useful tool in underpinning policy instruments such as socioeconomic assessments of public policies and investments, and economic incentives such as payment for ecosystem services, permits and taxation schemes (Bateman et al. 2013; Gaworecki 2017). Another economic instrument is the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (Experimental Ecosystem Accounting), developed in 2012. Examples of ecosystem accounting have been prepared (e.g. Victoria in Australia, Uganda, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Eigenraam, Chua and Hasker 2013; UNEP-WCMC and Institute for Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting [IDEEA] 2017; United Kingdom Office for National Statistics 2018), and initiatives to encourage its use in planning have been launched (see and

Efforts to address deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries culminated in international agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on methodological guidance for implementing activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries – known as REDD+ ( UNFCCC 2018). Forest certification, such as that promoted by the Forest Stewardship Council ( and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification ( provides greater information flow to consumers, encompassing not just logging and extraction but also the social and economic well-being of workers and local communities (e.g. forest management certification in Indonesia; Miteva, Loucks and Pattanayak 2015), and transparency and inclusiveness in decision-making. In the European Union (EU) Common Agricultural Policy, some mechanisms have been developed to address environmental problems through protecting and promoting biodiversity in the European countryside.

Within urban settings, a movement towards ‘green cities’ is gathering pace, especially, but not only, within developed countries (Hegazy, Seddik and Ibrahim 2017), which highlights the protection and expansion of urban forests and green spaces and parks, and the recreational and air quality benefits they provide to people (Salbitano et al. 2016), including increased exposure to microbial biodiversity, important for healthy immune responses (Lax, Nagler and Gilbert 2015). Public engagement in urban agriculture, and specific programmes on beekeeping and bird conservation can facilitate human contact with nature in an urban setting. Urban and peri-urban agriculture, when guided by principles of agroecology, with wastes (or by-products) reused as raw materials, promotes self-sufficiency, gender equality, disaster resilience, water and soil conservation and environmental sustainability (FAO 2001; van Veenhuizen 2012).

More generally, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) promotes the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of natural ecosystems to help people and communities adapt to climate change (Cohen-Shacham et al.2016). However, the effective integration of EbA is challenged by scientific uncertainty at the international scale and disputes over criteria for prioritization (Ojea 2015; Bourne et al. 2016).

Ocean governance is particularly complex. Current efforts are focused on the elaboration of the text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).