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Project Description

Institutional economics of mitigation mechanisms in the context of environmental impact regulation in Germany regarding US-american experiences

The projects objective is to analyse and evaluate mitigation mechanisms applied in the context of environmental impact regulation in Germany (urban land use planning) and wetland mitigation in the USA. The conclusions will result in recommendations to design effective and efficient mitigation mechanisms from an institutional point of view, particularly with regard to quality assurance of mitigation banking.

Empirical studies examining in-situ mitigation by the developer show a deficiency in controlling and implementing mitigation required by the impact regulation. Following the economic approach incentives are crucial to ensure ecological performance and long term mitigation management. Due to an absence of incentives for agents in Germany the regulations purpose (no net loss of functions and value of nature) can basically not be achieved.

Potential solutions have evolved in Germany, especially since 1998 when the impact regulation got more flexible, and in the United States. Different mitigation mechanisms include mitigation provided by
• the developer; in-situ mitigation
• public mitigation banks; ex-situ mitigation
• private third parties (entrepreneurial wetland mitigation banks); market for mitigation banking credits (USA).

On the basis of literature research and interviews of experts the project analyses and evaluates the institutional designs of these mitigation mechanisms regarding their contribution to efficient achievement of the regulations objectives. Evaluation criteria focus on instutional economics. Secluding recommendations concerning the German municipal practice will summarise the results.

Start Date: 01/2003 End Date: 03/2006
Duration: 30 months Status: execution
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Karin Holm-Müller
Funding: Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)
Cooperation: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Köck, Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle"
Contact Person: Sonja Macke


  • Macke, S.: Institutionenökonomische Beurteilung von Ausgleichsmechanismen in der Eingriffsregelung unter Berücksichtigung von Erfahrungen aus den USA, in: Korn, H. und Feit, U. (Ed.): Treffpunkt Biologische Vielfalt, Bundesamt für Naturschutz, Bonn (in press).

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 01, 2017