|•||Habitat Dynamics and Function|
|•||Species at Risk Recovery Planning|
|•||Ecological Risk Assessments|
|•||Climate Change and Biodiversity|
Cortex has been involved with conservation planning and assessments, for large tracts of land, for multiple species and for single species. In this area, we are responsible for developing and supporting multi-stakeholder initiatives, developing strategic plans that are outcome-focused, with actions clearly linked to short, medium and long term goals, and ensuring that evaluation is built into the plan so that groups can adapt activities if desired outcomes are not being achieved.
In addition, Cortex has developed a protocol for a biodiversity offset strategy to compensate for unavoidable impacts when the impacts are considered acceptable by stakeholders, in much the same manner that carbon credits are used to offset emission of greenhouse gases. Our offset approach goes beyond simple regulatory compliance towards full restoration and possible enhancement of the biodiversity value of an operation.
Our team has the strong communications and facilitation skills required to run complex planning processes, and the analytical skills to support decision-making with respect to priority areas for biodiversity conservation—bearing in mind habitat needs of species, maintaining the integrity of ecosystems, and incorporating the projected impacts of climate change. In addition, we have considerable experience developing extension programs that include working with specific stakeholders to understand barriers to change and developing options that will help overcome these barriers.
Our conservation planning services have strong connections to our other business areas, particularly Management Services (e.g., Socio-cultural Indicator Development with the Tahltan).
In response to heightened social and environmental concerns, companies are increasingly considering ways to reduce their impacts on biodiversity. Nonetheless, for some development projects impacts on biodiversity cannot be avoided. Voluntary biodiversity offsets can be used to compensate for unavoidable impacts provided the impacts are considered acceptable by stakeholders, in much the same manner that carbon credits are used to offset emission of greenhouse gases.
Creating a credible offset requires careful consideration. The lack of best-practice methods for establishing biodiversity offsets offers benefits in terms of flexibility, but there are also risks. Cortex professionals assist companies in evaluating possible options, choosing the most feasible biodiversity offset, and conducting the due diligence checks required to ensure the offset achieves the company's objectives.
Photos: John Innes