DEFRA Biodiversity Net Gain metric

July 2021

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), a biodiversity metric for new developments introduced in the UK government's new Environment Bill, stands accused of being inaccurate, unreliable, and and easy to manipulate.

The metric outlines determines how new houses, roads, and other construction projects must achieve no net loss of biodiversity, or, if nature is damaged on the construction site, achieve a 10% net gain elsewhere.

However, BNG does not value scrubby landscapes such as sand pits or those used for rewilding programmes, which it logs as a sign of 'degradation' and would not therefore qualify for compensation.

The UK government has a target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Developer: Natural England
Operator:
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Country:
UK
Sector:
Govt - environment
Purpose: Manage conservation
Technology:
Biodiversity Metric 3
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - rewilding
Opacity: User communication