How to generate biodiversity credits from your land
If you are a landholder, company or local council you may wish to enter a biodiversity stewardship agreement that will generate biodiversity credits for sale. These are voluntary agreements between the BCT and a landholder to permanently protect and manage an area of land to improve its biodiversity values.
Biodiversity credits represent the expected improvement in biodiversity that will result from the protection and management of the site. Landholders (or their representatives) negotiate the sale price of their biodiversity credits with the credit buyer, which may include developers, the BCT or other interested parties. A portion of the sale price must be paid into the Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund to cover the costs of managing the site in-perpetuity. Any remaining income from the credit sale is kept by the landholder as profit.
There are a number of steps involved in entering a biodiversity stewardship agreement:
- Landholder confirms eligibility requirements are met
- Landholder considers submitting an Expression of Interest form (note this is optional step if you wish to advertise your interest in setting up an agreement, to seek potential interested purchasers)
- Landholder engages an accredited assessor to apply the Biodiversity Assessment Method to calculate credits and develop a biodiversity stewardship site assessment report. A landholder could ask an accredited assessor to prepare a feasibility study as a first step in determining whether they would like to pursue a biodiversity stewardship agreement.
- Landholder submits application form to apply for a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement. This includes the biodiversity stewardship site assessment report and management plan for the site.
- Landholder signs a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (including management plan) with the BCT and it is registered on the property title
- Landholder sells or retires credits
- Landholder receives annual payments and manages biodiversity stewardship site.