We read with great interest the opinions of Apostolopoulou & Adams (2015) on biodiversity offsetting. We agree with the authors that offsetting has more profound implications than a technical approach to the subject would suggest. Our experience with developments on the mitigation of impacts on biodiversity in government policy, financial lenders’ safeguards and corporate practice is that the political, economic, social and financial implications weigh just as heavily in decision-makers’ minds as the technical ones that Apostolopoulou & Adams raise (IFC, 2012; BBOP, 2012b; ten Kate & Crowe, 2014; IUCN, 2016; Maron et al., 2016b). The governments, companies and communities working with scientists on the mitigation hierarchy regard biodiversity offsets as one of many tools available not only for conservation but also for risk management, social and economic engagement and benefit-sharing, land-use and landscape-level planning, and sustainable development (IFC, 2012; CSBI, 2015).
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