In May 2015, the province released a Draft Conservation Offset Framework. This
analysis offers constructive feedback for the draft framework in attempts to improve future
This report finds that the province’s draft framework focuses primarily on conservation
offset design elements. In contrast, there is very little mention of the best delivery mechanisms
for conservation offsets. To fully realize conservation offsets as a market-based instrument, this
analysis recommends embracing market mechanisms, complete with exchange and banking
systems for effective offset delivery in the province.
This analysis suggests that the next revision for Alberta’s Conservation Offset
Framework should include a greater focus on market delivery and a demonstrated commitment
to these mechanisms. This analysis goes on to suggest that in order to promote competitive
conservation offset markets, certain aspects of the framework need to be reconsidered and
modified. The potential market conflicts include: in-lieu fees, stacking, uncertainty, language,
commitment, and objectives.