Environmental compensation includes a range of activities intended to counterbalance such negative impacts of development projects that remain in the environment after all preventive and corrective measures have been fully implemented. Sweden, being a member state of the European Union (EU), must implement environmental compensation under EU directives such as the Habitat Directive. However, like in other countries, implementation is not yet widespread in Sweden, and new practices and guidelines remain to be developed both nationally and at European level. This need is all the more urgent considering that the European Commission estimates that, within the EU, about 100,000 hectares of land is converted from its natural state each year.
The aim of this paper is to describe current environmental-compensation practices in Swedish road and railway projects and to discuss issues of vital importance to the development of compensation policy, such as what to compensate for, how much, and how.
A national inventory was performed, for the first time in Sweden, to identify compensation measures in road and railway projects. Data were collected from a national mailing list including 141 officials at county administrative boards (CABs), internal e-mail correspondence within the Swedish Transport Administration and databases of court decisions. The inventory focused on compensation measures ordered by virtue of the Swedish Environmental Code. In addition, two case studies were carried ...