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Ekologisk kompensation - Upptag och integrering bland svenska aktörer och kvantifiering av de samhällsekonomiska effekterna, Rapport 7008, Naturvårdsverket

This publication is written in Swedish but it has a summary in English.

In recent decades, several international reports have shown a worldwide loss of biodiversity and functional ecosystems. One of the biggest threats is land-use changes. One way to prevent and alleviate injury is to work with the mitigation hierarchy and biodiversity offsetting. According to this hierarchy, the developer should strive to (1) avoid, (2) minimize and (3) restore biodiversity or remedy negative environmental impacts on site. Thereafter, any possible remaining negative consequences can be compensated outside the development site (4). In Sweden, this last step is called ecological compensation.

Ecological compensation as an idea was developed in the 1970s and has since then been used and developed by authorities, companies, and municipal organizations around the world. In Sweden, compensatory measures are implemented either based on the Environmental Code or through voluntary commitments, often in relation to spatial planning (so called voluntary compensation). In statutory compensation, biological diversity is generally in focus, while voluntary ecological compensation also focus on the conservation of ecosystem services.

Swedish municipalities have a prominent role in the work with all types of ecological compensation through their: planning monopoly, responsibility for the public good, and often significant land holdings. Depending on how the Swedish municipalities choose to work with ecological compensation in connection with spatial planning, the outcome for the protection of biological diversity and ecosystem services will vary. In this report, we focus on municipalities’ work with ecological compensation from two different angles: the use of ecological compensation in municipal spatial planning (part 1) and how models can provide support for decisions on compensatory measures (part 2).