Achieving No Net Loss For Communities And Biodiversity In Uganda
Period: April 2016 – April 2019
Funder: Department for International Development, UK’s Darwin Initiative
Collaborators: National Environment Management Authority Uganda (NEMA), Nature Uganda, International Institute of Environment & Development (IIED), Wild Business Ltd & Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Uganda
Governments, financial institutions and businesses worldwide are adopting No Net Loss (NNL) targets for biodiversity, and using offsetting to achieve this.
Biodiversity offsets offer the potential to reconcile the objectives of conservation and development through compensating for residual biodiversity impacts after the mitigation hierarchy has been implemented (avoid, minimise, restore/rehabilitate, offset). Moreover, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) highlighted how offsets can help Parties to achieve conservation goals.
The technical challenges of NNL are widely explored from an ecological perspective within academic literature. However, while international good practice guidance calls for offsets not to make local people worse off, there is a fundamental lack of understanding of how to achieve NNL with regard to people’s use of, and cultural values for, biodiversity, and the social, economic and ecological trade-offs involved.
This is a major challenge for countries where poor people depend on natural resources, where poorly planned offsets can exacerbate local poverty, and where impacts vary by gender and livelihood.
Using the Bujagali and Isimba Hydropower Projects and the Kalagala Offset in Uganda, this work seeks to explore ways in which development and offset activities can result in no net loss of biodiversity while at the same time ensure that local people are no worse off.
The World Bank-funded Bujagali Hydropower Project (BHP) was completed in 2012, with a sustainable management plan developed for its offset (Kalagala) to address biodiversity and human impacts. The area has high cultural, livelihood and biodiversity value.
The Isimba Hydropower Project (IHP) is being constructed downstream of BHP (planned completion in 2018) and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of IHP and its effects on the Kalagala Offset is now being undertaken.
NEMA, the responsible Government agency, and Nature Uganda, a leading conservation NGO, have identified an urgent need to understand how the Isimba project may affect the Kalagala offset while they can influence its implementation, and for general guidance on monitoring and mitigating social and ecological impacts of offsetting in Uganda.
This project will work at a local, national and international level, supporting governments, NGOs and business to integrate local poverty alleviation, equity and cultural heritage into biodiversity offsets for national economic development. From research on the biggest hydropower/offset in Uganda, it will produce, and support implementation of, local and national policy guidance for Uganda, and generate lessons internationally.
- Research the costs and benefits that the Bujagali and Isimba Hydropower Projects and the Kalagala Offset have on local people and biodiversity in the area.
- Work with NEMA Nature Uganda and other stakeholders in Uganda to improve their understanding on how to achieve NNL through biodiversity offsetting so that they are better equipped to design, implement, monitor and evaluate biodiversity offsets.
- Establish a Natural Captial Forum, enabling government, NGOs and businesses to work together on NNL of biodiversity goals for development which better account for local people’s needs and priorities.
- Draft and publish new international good practice guidelines on incorporating social considerations and benefits into No Net Loss and biodiversity offsetting.
Final Report for Darwin
- The project inception workshop was held in Kampala, Uganda in May 2016, and a report can be downloaded here
- The first annual project meeting was held in Kampala, Uganda in April 2017, and a report can be downloaded here
- The second annual project meeting was held in Kampala, Uganda in March 2018:
- Victoria Griffiths presented her research at the International Congress for Conservation Biology 2017, Cartagena, Columbia, July 2017
- Victoria Griffiths presented her research at the at the Annual Conference for the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA 2018), Durban, South Africa in May 2018.
- Joe Bull launched the social good practice principles at the annual BBOP conference, Paris, France in November 2018. Slides can be accessed here
- Victoria Griffiths presented her research at the at the Annual Conference for the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA 2019), Brisbane, Australia in May 2019
- Victoria Griffiths and EJ Milner-Gulland will present at the International Congress for Conservation Biology 2019, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July 2019
Download the project flyer here
Download the stakeholder and institutional analysis here
Read our paper published in Conservation Biology December 2019 Moving from biodiversity offsets to a target‐based approach for ecological compensation.
Read our paper published in Biological Conservation Volume 236, August 2019: Local people's preferences for biodiversity offsets to achieve ‘no net loss’ for economic developments, Victoria F. Griffiths, Oleg Sheremet, Nick Hanley, Julia Baker, J oseph W. Bull, E.J.Milner-Gulland
Read our blog, Ensuring Biodiversity Net Gain delivers for people, published on Inside Ecology. 25th Jan 2019
IUCN blog on the good practice principles here
Report on the: Re-assessment of the Terrestrial Biodiversity (Flora and Avi-Fauna) in Bujagali, Kalagala and Isimba Hydropower Dams and Offsets, Uganda. Produced by Nature Uganda. Download the document here
Read the report done by Julia Baker and Milly Oakley in 2019: Assessing social economic outcomes from biodiversity ‘no net loss’ on infrastructure development, using Natural Capital Accounting – a case study from Uganda. here
Read Helena Newell's 2018 MSc thesis: Natural capital accounting to support assessment of the "no net loss" principle for biodiversity and people for an infrastructure project in Uganda (pdf)
Julia Patricia Gordon Jones, Joseph William Bull, Dilys Roe, Julia Baker, Victoria Frances Griffiths, Malcolm Starkey, Laura Jane Sonter, E.J.Milner-Gulland. Net Gain: Seeking Better Outcomes for Local People when Mitigating Biodiversity Loss from Development One Earth Volume 1, Issue 2, 25 October 2019, Pages 195-201
Martine Maron, Jeremy S. Simmonds, James E. M. Watson, Laura J. Sonter, Leon Bennun, Victoria F. Griffiths Fabien Quétier, Amrei von Hase, Stephen Edwards, Hugo Rainey, Joseph W. Bull, Conrad E. Savy, Ray Victurine, Joseph Kiesecker, Philippe Puydarrieux, Todd Stevens, Naïg Cozannet and Julia P. G. Jones. Global no net loss of natural ecosystems. Nature Ecology & Evolution
Social good practice principles
On the 20th of November 2018, a symposium was held to launch a set of good practice principles "Ensuring No Net Loss for people as well as biodiversity"
Download the Good Practice Principles document here
Find out more about our symposium, including the agenda, attendance list and presentations here
Presentation material for the BBOP webinar on the good practice principles, September 2018, can be accessed here
IUCN blog on the good practice principles here
Read our article in the February 2019 Darwin newsletter here: Built on collaboration: new good practice principles to achieve No Net Loss for people and biodiversity. here
Policy and industry briefs
Industrial Brief for Uganda: Achieving No Net Loss for people and biodiversity in Uganda (pdf)
International Industrial Brief: Achieving net gain for people and biodiversity. (pdf)
U-PCLG policy brief: Achieving ‘no net loss’ for people and biodiversity in Uganda (pdf)
On the 28th of June 2018 a training module was carried out by Dr Julia Baker on the social aspects of biodiversity no net loss. Slides can be downloaded here
On Feb 14th 2019 a Training Course was held and Dr. Julia Baker's slides on No Net Loss for People & Biodiversity can be downloaded here pdf and the No Net Loss for People & Biodiversity: Check List here pdf The training report can be downloaded here pdf
Research ethics and data management here
Webinar for the Natural Capital Coalition 28th May 2019: gaps between conceptual and operational implementation of Natural Capital Accounting in a developing country context.
Prof. EJ. Milner-Gulland was invited to do a guest lecture at the Aga Khan Development Network in April 2017 in Kampala. Read the press coverage here: