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Developing and valuing environmental assets

Developing my property

Some landowners may seek to develop their property to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Where this development requires clearing of native vegetation or is a significant change of previous use then the proposal may require an area of land be offset to minimise the impacts on biodiversity of the development.

A Biodiversity Offsets Scheme has been established to govern how biodiversity offsets will be calculated and credits used to ensure they deliver clear conservation outcomes. The requirements for landowners under the Scheme will be assessed using the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM).

The assessment must be carried out by an accredited assessor who will make a determination about any required offsets or payments a landowner must make to compensate for biodiversity losses as a result of development.

The Scheme also provides opportunities for land owners to earn income by conserving vegetation on their property and generating offset credits that can be sold on the open market and allows land owners to purchase offset credits and develop land without the need to establish set aside areas on their property.

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Valuing environmental assets

Voluntary financial incentives will be available to support land owners to actively manage high-value environmental assets on private land by establishing conservation agreements or stewardship sites.

Establishing offset sites or entering into a conservation or stewardship agreement to protect native vegetation will generate a financial return on these important assets.

The NSW Government has committed an unprecedented $240 million over five years to support conservation on private land and $70 million in each following year, subject to performance reviews.

A new Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) will be established to administer the new private land conservation program. A Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy (BCIS) will guide the BCT in delivering the Government’s investment in private land conservation. It will set out proposed objectives, priority investment areas and investment principles.