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Enhancing biodiversity on working agricultural lands through environmental mitigation and offsets: Opportunities in Australia and the United States
Ecology Law Currents (University of California, Berkeley) (2015)
  • Matthew Roach, Stanford University
Abstract

Australia has extensive experience in managing working agricultural lands to enhance biodiversity. State and Commonwealth agencies are increasingly using environmental offsets as a tool to manage the impacts of development. However, working agricultural lands are generally not considered a source of potential environmental offsets, as agencies prefer that land used for offsets be wholly set aside for environmental management purposes with limited or no agricultural activities. This contrasts with the United States, where efforts are underway to use working agricultural lands for mitigation. This paper proposes that working agricultural lands can be used for environmental offsets under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). There are no significant legal barriers to this occurring, and the increased use of working agricultural land for offsets could achieve long-term environmental gains, address the shortage of land available for environmental offsets in Australia, provide landowners with additional income, and improve our collective expertise at sustainable agriculture.

Keywords
  • Working agricultural lands,
  • biodiversity,
  • environmental offsets,
  • mitigation,
  • Australian environmental law
Publication Date
Fall October 19, 2015
Citation Information
Matthew Roach. "Enhancing biodiversity on working agricultural lands through environmental mitigation and offsets: Opportunities in Australia and the United States" Ecology Law Currents (University of California, Berkeley) 42.3 (2015): 1-24. Available at: http://elq.typepad.com/currents/2015/currents42-3-Roach-2015-1016.pdf