The purpose of this paper is to introduce Albertans to one of these new tools, conservation offsets. Under an offset system the negative environmental impacts of land or resource development may be compensated for by the intentional creation of corresponding positive impacts. This paper describes this tool and the approach that Alberta is taking in policy development respecting offsets. It also offers some comments on the strengths and weaknesses of the approach Alberta is taking.
The financial support of the Alberta Law Foundation made the writing of this paper possible.