Globally, the destruction and degradation of wetlands have been matters of increasing concern for several decades (Maltby 1986, Williams 1990). The response has been the adoption of a variety of measures to slow the rate of habitat loss and increase the protection of remaining natural wetlands.
Nevertheless, it has also been acknowledged that complete cessation of wetland destruction is an almost impossible dream; there will be circumstances where the economic or social benefit of development will be perceived as outweighing the loss of environment values associated with a particular wetland. The concept of wetland mitigation has therefore been promoted, whereby development is permitted on condition that other areas of wetland are either rehabilitated or are created.
Mitigation may either be part of a general policy (as in the 'no net loss' concept in the USA) or be a matter to be taken into consideration by planning authorities on a case by case basis (as in allowed for in State Environmental Planning Policy No. 14 (Coastal Wetlands) in NSW).