On September 26-27, KCP partners will gather in Creston to learn more on the topic of biodiversity offsetting. Biodiversity offsets are defined as “measurable conservation outcomes resulting from actions designed to compensate for significant residual adverse biodiversity impacts arising from project development after appropriate prevention and mitigation measures have been taken,” and are generally implemented with a goal of no net loss of biodiversity in the face of new economic activity (Biodiversity Offsets: A Primer For Canada, 2014).

A excellent slate of panelists has been assembled to speak on the topic:

Panelist – Scott Benton: Scott is the Executive Director at the Grasslands Conservation Council of BC. He is responsible for strategic planning, fundraising, organizational management and communications. He has also been the acting Assistant Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Environment and the Executive Director for the Parks and Protected Areas division.

Panelist – Tom Swann: Tom is the Associate Regional V.P, Director of Land Securement, BC Region for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He is responsible for visualizing, constructing, negotiating, and overseeing transactional real estate for conservation purposes. Tom lead the pilot effort to use carbon sales as a conservation tool on NCC’s Darkwoods project.

Panelist – Steve Hilts: Steve is the Environmental Legacies Director for Teck Resources Ltd. He is an environmental scientist with over 20 years of experience in the mining, government and consulting sectors. In his position with Teck, Steve leads the assessment and management of legacy environmental issues/facilities and the creation of new, positive legacies in biodiversity and energy conservation. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography from the University of BC and a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Moderator – Candace Batycki: Candace has worked for conservation organizations in BC and the US for over 25 years, beginning with Earth Island Institute in San Francisco, where she worked to leverage the US seafood market in support of sustainable seafood harvesting practices. For the last 20 years her work has focused on conservation planning, protected areas, sustainable forestry, and the protection of species at risk, working for a variety of organizations including the David Suzuki Foundation and Conservation Northwest. From 2001 to 2010 Candace served as Director of Forest Programs for ForestEthics, where she engaged the wood products marketplace in support of conservation outcomes in BC. Key projects included negotiating agreements to protect high conservation value and endangered forests in the East Kootenay region, including through third-party certification, and gaining regulatory protections over two million hectares of mountain caribou habitat. She also managed campaigns in the Canadian Boreal, California Sierra, and Chile. Candace currently serves as a city councilor in Nelson, BC, operates a consulting practice, and will soon complete her Master of Arts in Environment and Management at Royal Roads University.

For more information on Biodiversity Offsetting, please click here.