A Cross-Sector Guide for Implementing the Mitigation Hierarchy provides practical guidance, innovative approaches and examples to support operationalizing the mitigation hierarchy effectively.

CSBI’s guide on the mitigation hierarchy was developed in consultation with, and with input from, technical specialists in impact assessment, extractive industry experts and financial institutions, with feedback and input from the non-profit sector.

The Mitigation Hierarchy Guide:

  • Clearly defines the four steps of the mitigation hierarchy — avoid, minimize, restore and offset—and their application with regard to managing biodiversity throughout the life cycle of an extractive project;
  • Provides clear, systematic guidance for determining and demonstrating biodiversity loss or gain as a result of mitigation efforts, highlighting links to ecosystem services where available and appropriate;
  • Offers practical measures for predicting and verifying biodiversity conservation outcomes over time; and offers insight into documenting and comparing costs and savings resulting from mitigation action or inaction.

The guide reviews the many options to mitigate impacts, and guides users through a flexible approach to applying the mitigation steps. The approach is adaptable according to site-specific environmental and operational circumstances, including different regulatory regimes.

The publication is aimed at environmental professionals working in, or with, extractive industries and financial institutions, who are responsible for overseeing the application of the mitigation hierarchy to biodiversity conservation, while balancing conservation needs with development priorities.

The guide is currently available in English, and may be translated into additional languages in the future subject to demand. It is a companion document to CSBI’s Timeline Tool and the joint CSBI-MFI Biodiversity Working Group’s Good Practices for the Collection of Biodiversity Baseline Data.

The preferred citation for the guide is:

CSBI (2015). A cross-sector guide for implementing the mitigation hierarchy. Prepared by the Biodiversity Consultancy on behalf of IPIECA, ICMM and the Equator Principles Association: Cambridge UK.

*CSBI thanks The Biodiversity Consultancy for preparing the Summary version of the guide.

Implementation of the mitigation hierarchy