There is considerable concern in society regarding ecology and the loss of biodiversity. Overall, there is a greater understanding now than there has ever been of the importance of and contribution to life made by natural capital and ecosystem services, and how – even at a small scale – these can benefit our quality of life.
In the development industry, there is an increasing awareness of how potentially negative ecological impacts can be avoided, mitigated or compensated for. Biodiversity offsetting is becoming a more sophisticated tool, and wildlife legislation still plays its part as the backstop for any potentially damaging operations. Yet more flexible ways of applying the legislation, particularly through licensing, are being tested to ensure a more pragmatic approach.
This section cannot do justice to the full complexity of all these issues. Instead, it is intended to introduce them and demonstrate that professions which work in construction and development have an important part in conserving and enhancing biodiversity.