For over a decade, international policy debate has been re-defining forests as providers of “ecosystem services”. Promotional videos, slogans and attractive brochures promoting a “Green Economy”, repeat how forests and biodiversity are essential for the “services” they provide to humanity. This reinforces the colonial understanding of “nature” as a collection of species, undisturbed by human interaction, denying the role of forest peoples in shaping nature, and putting “nature” at the service of the same economy that continues to destroy it. The result is a re-definition that reduces the underlying causes of the destruction of forests and other territories into an issue of numbers. These discourses silence the crucial issues of power relations, including the underlying causes of forest destruction and violation of forest communities’ rights. People, cultures, traditions, interconnections are not even considered as co-existing and inseparable with forests.
A detailed report that provides a damning analysis of one 'biodiversity offset' project can be found here.