What We Do
The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) has specific functions as set out in the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. Section 10.4 of the Act sets out the objects of the Trust which is also its principal purpose.
In summary, the object of the BCT is to protect and enhance biodiversity by:
- encouraging landholders to enter into co-operative arrangements for the management and protection of the natural environment that is significant for the conservation of biodiversity, and
- seeking strategic biodiversity offset outcomes to compensate for the loss of biodiversity due to development and other activities, and
- providing mechanisms for achieving the conservation of biodiversity, and
- promoting public knowledge, appreciation and understanding of biodiversity, and the importance of conserving biodiversity.
The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust manages and delivers private land conservation across NSW with the aim of maintaining a healthy, productive and resilient environment for the community, now and into the future.
We also play a key role in the delivery of the NSW Biodiversity Offset Scheme. We do this by sourcing biodiversity offsets to compensate for the loss of biodiversity from developments, when developers or proponents choose to meet their offset obligations by paying into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund.
Having these two core functions enables the Trust to take a more strategic approach to securing offsets and private land conservation across New South Wales.
The Trust works in partnership with farmers, land managers, landholders, developers, industries, local councils and the state government to provide advice and support in protecting land with high biodiversity values in ways which brings benefits to landholders for doing so. We are delivering a streamlined private land conservation program across NSW, directing $240 million of investment into supporting landholders to protect private land. This investment will provide opportunities for landholders to diversify their income sources through protecting and managing areas of high environmental value on their properties and will support sustainable farming enterprises.
We will work with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to connect with regional landholders, groups and communities to look at the various options available to help farmers and landholders protect land whilst carrying on other activities such as productive farming.
Many ecological communities and threatened species are found only on privately owned and managed land. More than 70 per cent of the state is under private ownership or Crown leasehold. We recognise that landholders who protect the plants and animals on their land play a key role in keeping biodiversity across NSW healthy. Therefore, it is critical that we support landholders to protect and manage land with high environmental values, for future generations.
How we work
The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) works in partnership with landholders to establish a variety of agreements to protect private land. More information about these agreement types can be found here.
We are required under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) to publish a business plan every four years, and an annual report on our activities. The Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 sets out the information we must include in our business plan and annual reporting, such as goals, plans for achieving those goals, plans for investing money and managing returns, and data management. Our annual reports will include the progress made in the previous financial year against the goals identified in the Trust’s business plan.
These provisions will help ensure the Trust is accountable to the government and the community for the performance of its functions.
Where possible, the Trust’s goals and plans are to give effect to the Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy to be made by the Minister for the environment on the advice of the Office of Environment and Heritage. The Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy (BCIS) will guide the Trust in prioritising investment in biodiversity conservation across NSW. The BCIS will set out proposed objectives, targets and priority investment areas and investment principles for the private land conservation program.
NSW Government is currently developing the BCIS and it will be exhibited later in 2017 before being finalised.