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Should We Be Wary of Mitigation Banking? Evidence Regarding the Risks Associated with this Wetland Offset Arrangement in Florida


  • Levrel, Harold
  • Scemama, Pierre
  • Vaissière, Anne-Charlotte


This paper describes and analyzes the risks associated with using mitigation banking for the conservation of wetlands in Florida in the United States. First, we attempt to identify and summarize the main ecological and socio-economic risks regarding mitigation banking that have been discussed in previous studies. Then we analyze the institutional responses adopted by US regulators to limit these risks. We have used empirical evidence including interviews and data analysis to assess the effectiveness of these responses. Our main findings are that the recent regulatory responses adopted to face risks associated with mitigation banking seem to be more effective than what is often assumed. These responses are underpinned by the emergence of a hybrid mode of governance that combines market characteristics and regulatory constraints, and which contributes to enforcing wetland compensation in Florida. However, we also observed some risks inherent in this system, in particular the redistribution of ecosystem services, as the distance between impact sites and compensation sites seems to have increased in Florida in the last several years. In addition, the question is still pending regarding whether or not No Net Loss of wetlands is really achieved through mitigation banking.

Suggested Citation

  • Levrel, Harold & Scemama, Pierre & Vaissière, Anne-Charlotte, 2017. "Should We Be Wary of Mitigation Banking? Evidence Regarding the Risks Associated with this Wetland Offset Arrangement in Florida," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 136-149.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:135:y:2017:i:c:p:136-149
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.12.025

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Noel Castree, 2008. "Neoliberalising Nature: The Logics of Deregulation and Reregulation," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 40(1), pages 131-152, January.
    2. Noel Castree, 2008. "Neoliberalising nature: the logics of deregulation and reregulation," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 40(1), pages 131-152, January.
    3. Ekins, Paul, 2003. "Identifying critical natural capital: Conclusions about critical natural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 277-292, March.
    4. Vaissière, Anne-Charlotte & Levrel, Harold, 2015. "Biodiversity offset markets: What are they really? An empirical approach to wetland mitigation banking," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 81-88.
    5. repec:eee:ecoser:v:21:y:2016:i:pa:p:92-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. David Moreno Mateos & Mary E Power & Francisco A Comín & Roxana Yockteng, 2012. "Structural and Functional Loss in Restored Wetland Ecosystems," Working Papers id:4755, eSocialSciences.
    7. Pearce, David W. & Atkinson, Giles D., 1993. "Capital theory and the measurement of sustainable development: an indicator of "weak" sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 103-108, October.
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:11:p:4161-:d:182260 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:159:y:2019:i:c:p:54-67 is not listed on IDEAS

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