Biodiversity Baseline Guidance

In 2015 Stuart Anstee & Associates were fortunate to support the team at Hardner & Gullison in the drafting of the Good Practices for the Collection of Biodiversity Baseline Data.

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This important guidance was prepared for the Multilateral Financing Institutions (MFI) Biodiversity Working Group and Cross Sector Biodiversity Initiative. It summarises good practices for biodiversity baseline studies that allow biodiversity to be included effectively and fully in impact assessment and related management plans.

A biodiversity baseline study is the collection and interpretation of information on the biodiversity values at a site; this includes the species, habitats and ecological systems present, their current condition and their trends, before a project commences. 

 Biodiversity baseline studies play an important role in supporting the assessment of the risks and impacts of projects on biodiversity. They allow for applying the mitigation hierarchy and designing long-term biodiversity management and monitoring measures.

The guidance is for companies, financial institutions, regulators, specialists in environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) and other parties interested in biodiversity. Through clear, practical guidance, it helps practitioners to understand the technical concepts underpinning biodiversity baseline studies, specify the required studies/analyses to be undertaken, identify the specialised skills required to undertake them, and interpret the results.

The guide is available in English. It is a companion document to the MFI Biodiversity Working Group’s Good Practices for Biodiversity-Inclusive Impact Assessment and Management Planning