Become a partner
The BCT is seeking partners who share our commitment to addressing the linked crises of nature loss and climate change. We wish to build co-investment partnerships with the private sector to accelerate private land conservation and biodiverse carbon sequestration in NSW.
Biodiversity and carbon projects
There is increased scrutiny on the integrity of carbon credits and their impact on nature. The market for high integrity carbon offsets with co-benefits and robust biodiversity credentials is growing. The BCT has options to meet this demand. We are exploring ways to link private sector investment in nature-based solutions with BCT investment in permanent private land conservation.
Investment from private sector partners could support initial costs of carbon projects and/or commitments to purchase resulting carbon credits. This would increase certainty, encourage participation and drive a larger volume of biodiversity conservation and an enhanced supply of ACCUs. Private sector partners may also consider investing in biodiversity management to contribute to corporate nature-related targets or commitments.
Private sector co-investment with BCT would for participants and support an enhanced supply of ACCUs. The private sector could co-finance carbon project capital costs, or commit to purchase ACCUs, and/or fund biodiversity outcomes at an agreed rate for the lifetime of the project.
Currently, BCT considers the Reforestation by environmental or mallee plantings carbon method to be most aligned with BCT programs and suitable for combined projects.
Three examples of combined biodiversity and carbon projects are listed below.
A simple opportunity is where the BCT and investors collaborate to establish adjacent projects to deliver landscape scale conservation outcomes and diversify landholder income (Figure 1). A project developer could collaborate with the BCT to place environmental plantings projects adjacent to existing BCT agreements. The ACCUs generated may be eligible to claim biodiversity co-benefits due to the positioning and complementarity with BCT conservation agreement. Figure 2 demonstrates how investment could flow in this example.
There is opportunity to combine a BCT program with a carbon project under a co-funded project (Figure 3). In this example, the BCT engages landholders to enter private land conservation agreements and facilitates registration of a carbon project with the ERF inside the conservation agreement area.
The investment partner finances ERF project establishment costs, capital works for the ERF project and ongoing management costs. The investor could take the role of carbon project proponent and/or could commit to purchase ACCUs generated. The combined program could also enable individual landholders to register as carbon project proponents.
In this example, the BCT funds the conservation agreement and ongoing payments to manage biodiversity outcomes in the conservation agreement area. BCT could also consider funding biodiversity management activities within the carbon area that are in addition to carbon project management activities.
The BCT conservation agreement secures long-term outcomes for the carbon environmental planting area and the broader conservation agreement area. BCT monitors ecological outcomes and conservation agreement compliance.
The investor would be entitled to high integrity ACCUs with co-benefits that could be sold or banked for accounting purposes. Figure 4 demonstrates how investment could flow in this example.
There is opportunity for investors to fund a combined BCT program and carbon project to generate ACCUs and quantified biodiversity outcomes (Figure 5). This opportunity may assist investors seeking a supply of high-integrity carbon credits, as well as outcomes that may contribute to nature-related corporate targets or commitments.
This example is like example 2, with investment partners financing ERF project establishment costs, capital works and ongoing management costs. As for example 2, the investor could take the role of carbon project proponent and/or could commit to purchase ACCUs generated. In this example however, the investor also funds conservation management within the private land conservation agreement area (i.e. the area outside of the ERF carbon project area).
The example provides an opportunity for investors to secure and claim high-integrity ACCUs plus quantified biodiversity outcomes.
The BCT agreement could be a conservation agreement or a biodiversity stewardship agreement. Biodiversity stewardship agreements establish quantified and tradable ecosystem and species biodiversity credits. The BCT is also exploring development of an area based or tradable biodiversity unit* for conservation agreements, that could be applicable to this example.
Investors should note that biodiversity stewardship agreement credits are not permitted to co-exist on the same parcel of land as an ERF carbon project if the biodiversity credits are used to offset development obligations.
Figure 6 demonstrates how investment could flow in this example.
Supporting Aboriginal Landholders
The BCT is seeking co-investment to support Aboriginal landholders participate in private land conservation.
The BCT recognises that Aboriginal people’s cultural obligation of caring for Country overlaps with our core business of biodiversity conservation. BCT programs offer a unique opportunity for Aboriginal landholders to access ongoing financial support for conservation management. Private sector investment in combined BCT and carbon projects could further increase economic opportunities.
The BCT will be piloting a program with Aboriginal landholders during 2022-23. Investors could fund additional technical and administrative support to build capacity and assist communities to participate in the program. There is also the opportunity for investors to scale up the program, such as supporting a cultural flow event and enabling Aboriginal aspirations in water ownership.
Investors may also consider partnering with Aboriginal stakeholders as part of a landscape-scale co-investment partnership or partnering with BCT and Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation to purchase and move land and water into Aboriginal ownership to support economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes.
Real property, real conservation
The BCT invests in real property and ‘revolves’ these properties by selling to buyers willing to sign a conservation agreement under our revolving fund. The average investment is in the order of $2 to $3 million.
Philanthropic investment in the BCT’s revolving fund would enable the BCT to accelerate investment in private land conservation. The capital would be used to buy properties. Sale proceeds would be reinvested in the revolving fund and used on an ongoing basis to bring more properties into private land conservation. The BCT would complement this investment by providing the funding to support the ongoing conservation management in-perpetuity.
Our revolving fund is in a unique position to maintain philanthropic investment as BCT land acquisition, lease and disposal are exempt from the Duties Act 1997.
Large-scale conservation properties
The BCT can enter bespoke co-investment partnerships with landholders and one or more co-investors to invest in large-scale high-conservation-value ecosystems on private land.
The BCT is working towards entering our first landscape-scale co-investment partnership with an Aboriginal landholder and a major nature conservancy during 2022. This partnership would secure a very large and ecologically significant site in NSW under a funded conservation agreement. This investment may exceed $30 million from the BCT.
The BCT is seeking philanthropic partners, landholders and other co-investors to identify high priority conservation properties, to compile a mutually beneficial capital stack and to achieve permanent private land conservation at scale.
Expressions of interest will need to be made by a landholder (or prospective landholder) and a co-investor or co-investors.
An expression of interest may be submitted at any time using the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.
Landholders and co-investors considering making an expression of interest should read the BCT’s Co-Investment Partnerships Landholder and Investor Guide.
The BCT will assess EOIs as they are received, and will assess proposals on a case-by-case basis on their merits against the BCT’s objectives and evaluation criteria.
Protecting endangered species and ecosystems
The BCT is seeking philanthropic investments in the order of $10 million per offering to conduct additional conservation tenders for the highest priority conservation projects across NSW. With a long-term partner, the BCT could gear up to deliver up to three additional $10 million tenders each year.
The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy (BCIS) lists high priority assets, which include highly threatened species and ecological communities, important wetlands, littoral rainforests, koala habitat, corridors and climate refugia.
We are interested in working with philanthropic partners willing to invest in high-integrity and permanent conservation of endangered or critically endangered species or ecological communities.
Contact us to discuss how any such investment would be used, where the money would be invested and what conservation assets could be pursued.
As part of the BCT Research Strategy, the BCT is currently supporting seven PhD research projects, each receiving $10,000 per annum over three years, as either a stipend ‘top-up’ or to supplement operating costs like fieldwork.
Several research institutions were invited to submit their proposals which were then reviewed by content experts across the BCT. All seven projects, summarised below, were evaluated based on their alignment with the BCT principles and priorities, as articulated in the Research Strategy. These projects will be guided by the BCT staff as co-supervisors, as part of a collaborative approach with the lead institutions.
The seven PhD research projects currently under BCT scholarship support are:
- Assessing invertebrate diversity as it relates to ecosystem function and agricultural productivity
- Conserving woodland birds in private protected areas
- Developing acoustic indices for the assessment of faunal diversity
- Quantifying and assessing plant functional diversity as a critical element of biodiversity value
- Social-ecological-economic drivers and outcomes of initiatives to restore biodiversity on agricultural land
- Effects of land management on arthropod biodiversity and ecosystem services in semi-arid southwest of NSW
- Engaging landholders to understand the impacts of feral herbivores on post-fire recovery and persistence
Our current partners
We have a number of existing on-ground, biodiversity conservation partners, including:
- Landcare NSW
- CEN (Land for Wildlife)
- HSI (Wildlife Land Trust)
- WWF (North Coast Koalas)
- Firesticks Alliance
- Petaurus Education Group
- Australian Museum
- Local Land Services
The BCT supports private land conservation nationally through our active membership with the Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA).
Last but not least, our work would not be possible without the thousands of hardworking landholder partners who we support every day.