NINA and Hydro Energy team up for biodiversity

Publisert: 30. april 2024
Tekst: Trine Hay Setsaas

NINA assesses status and implementation gaps of performance standards and no net loss commitments, in relation to energy sector developments in Norway.  

NINA and Hydro Energy team up for biodiversity

NINA researchers support the renewable energy sector in their endeavor to reduce negative impacts on biodiversity. A new NINA report, commissioned by Hydro Energy, presents how guidelines to evaluate impacts on biodiversity in Norway map onto international performance standards developed for environmental sustainability reporting.  

We first present an overview of the status of the criteria used in Norway, and then, together with experience and principles from restoration ecology, link to the mitigation hierarchy to provide recommendation on how to minimize impacts on biodiversity, says Graciela Rusch, senior researcher at NINA and head of the project. We also reflect on current gaps to implement actions towards biodiversity no net loss and net gains objectives, she says. 

The principles of the mitigation hierarchy involve taking nature into account in all stages of a development process, from strategic and detailed planning to actual project implementation. 

Operationalization of "no net loss" in Norway

Norway is currently revising its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) as a follow-up to the Global Biodiversity Framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity, which will include regulations related to the private sector. 

At present there is no operationalization of the "no net loss" concept in Norway, i.e. which impacts should be compensated for and how. It is therefore suggested in the report that the revised NBSAP could include such guidelines, accompanied by By national normative definitions of where negative impacts must be avoided, and how compensation measures would be designed.   

With this collaboration with Hydro Energy, says Rusch, we describe how the mitigation hierarchy could be turned into a stronger tool to protect biodiversity in Norway by defining clearer criteria to apply at each step and by including quantitative assessments of impact. Our message is “the smaller the physical impact, the easier and less costly it is to compensate for damage”.   

Contact Graciela Rusch

Read the report Performance standards and biodiversity no net loss commitments: An assessment of status and implementation gaps in Norway


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