About this project

GeoLINK has been engaged by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to help them establish a biodiversity stewardship site to meet their biodiversity offset obligation for the Pacific Highway Upgrade (Warrell Creek to Urunga ). 

Those who plan to clear native vegetation for development have an obligation to offset the biodiversity loss as a result of the development. This is called a biodiversity credit obligation. The appropriate number and type of biodiversity credits are determined before development can commence.

The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) is the NSW Government’s framework for assessing and offsetting the impact of development on biodiversity in NSW. It provides a transparent, consistent, and scientifically based approach to avoid, minimise and offset impacts to native biodiversity.

What is a biodiversity stewardship site?
A biodiversity stewardship site is an agreed area of land to be managed for conservation. Owners can generate biodiversity credits from the conservation practices on that land. The land is bound by the terms of the Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement, which defines the area, boundaries and management obligations of the biodiversity stewardship site.

Biodiversity Stewardship Sites are a part of Australia’s conservation future by helping to secure the status of both threatened and non-threatened species and ecological communities.

 Biodiversity Conservation Trust
The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) was established under part of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 with the purpose to partner with landholders to enhance and conserve biodiversity across NSW.

The BCT’s four strategic goals are to:

  • increase private land conservation in areas of strategic biodiversity value
  • deliver efficient, effective and strategic biodiversity offset outcomes
  • support participating landholders to conserve biodiversity
  • promote public knowledge, appreciation and understanding of biodiversity and the importance of conservation.

The BCT plays a critical role partnering with landholders to enhance and conserve biodiversity across NSW. However, from July 2022 management of the Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement application processes was handed over to Credit Supply Taskforce (the Taskforce) at DPE.

Taskforce are working hard to educate and instil more confidence in the scheme for those curious about entering their property into a BSA. The focus is on increasing the supply of credits into the market via a landholder Expression of Interest (EOI) Program. Taskforce is focusing on EOIs from landholders in priority areas where there is significant upcoming demand for certain types of credits. Via the EOI program the Taskforce may offer a biodiversity assessment at no up-front cost, the fees would be repaid on the sale of credits, with the aim of reducing the risk and uncertainty for landholders. GeoLINK are currently engaged directly by the Taskforce to undertake assessments for prospective BSA participants.

GeoLINK expertise in Biodiversity Stewardship Sites
Establishing a Biodiversity Stewardship Site is a detailed process needing specialised knowledge and expertise to fulfil all obligations. GeoLINK have accredited biodiversity assessors who are experienced in understanding the complexities of what’s required as well as completing the necessary assessments, surveys and reports needed to establish a biodiversity stewardship site.

  • Desktop and field assessments of the subject lots.
  • Completing a Biodiversity Stewardship Site Assessment Report (BBSAR).
  • Prepare a Biodiversity Stewardship Site Management Plan (BSSMP).
  • Complete required Ecosystem and Species Credit Reports
  • Prepare the required Final Total Fund Deposit.
  • Complete associated mapping and any other documentation required by the Biodiversity Conservation Trust of NSW.

The GeoLINK ecology team includes five accredited biodiversity assessors who have been active in undertaking BAM (Biodiversity Assessment Method) related assessments including providing feasibility analyses for stewardship sites.


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