Ekologisesta kompensaatiosta kohti maankäytön suunnittelun ekologista tilinpitoa

Translated title of the contribution: Elaborating biodiversity offsetting towards ecological accounting of land use planning

Jonne Hytönen, Anna-Kaisa Tupala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

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Biodiversity offsetting has been suggested to ease biodiversity loss caused by land use projects in the future. For example, as housing production and transportation infrastructure unavoidably always cause some loss for biodiversity, these losses can be compensated in another location to prevent habitat and other losses caused to the environment. The idea of biodiversity offsetting is not without problems: concerns of greenwashing and acceleration of construction projects with negative environmental impact can be raised. The costs that constructors pay for compensation can be comprehended as a paid permission to harm the environment. In the core of biodiversity offsetting critique is a demand of more restrictive planning policies: prevention of biodiversity loss should be prioritized, instead of seeking ways to facilitate new projects that cause environmental harm.

In this commentary we aim to understand how biodiversity offsetting procedure should be elaborated to fit well into the context of Finnish publicly driven land use planning. We combine theoretical aspects from planning and biodiversity offsetting research. To have positive impact on planning principles from a sustainability viewpoint, we suggest that the offsetting procedure needs to be developed into a new direction that supports strategic planning. As our conclusion, we end up sketching an idea of ecological accounting in land use planning: such accounting should take into account all cases of detailed planning, to compare the ecological weight between the potential locations of future development projects. Such obligatory alignment would prevent biodiversity loss as it would help to steer development smartly into certain, ecologically reasoned directions. Further, voluntary and privately driven biodiversity offsetting, initiated by landowners and developers to enhance project development, should not be the approach from which to develop offsetting policies in the future in Finland.
Translated title of the contributionElaborating biodiversity offsetting towards ecological accounting of land use planning
Original languageFinnish
Pages (from-to)185-196
Number of pages12
JournalAlue ja ympäristö
Issue number1
Early online date13 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • Spatial planning
  • Biodiversity offsetting
  • Planning theory


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