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Generate and sell biodiversity credits

Landholders can establish a biodiversity stewardship agreement on their land and generate credits to sell through the NSW biodiversity market.


The Biodiversity Credits Supply Taskforce works with landholders to establish biodiversity stewardship agreements (BSAs) and facilitates the generation and sale of biodiversity credits.

A biodiversity stewardship agreement helps conserve habitat for native species and ecosystems and generates biodiversity credits that can be sold to fund management of weeds, pests, fire, and ecological restoration.

A biodiversity stewardship agreement is an agreement registered on title. The biodiversity credits generated through a biodiversity stewardship agreement can be sold directly to developers that need to offset impacts, government or to other buyers wanting to secure conservation. 

Credits can also be sold to the Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund or the Biodiversity Conservation Trust. 

Use the links below for information about the stages of developing a biodiversity stewardship agreement.

Five key steps

Step 1: Check for in-demand credits

Landholders can check the Current biodiversity credit demand webpage, the Credits Near Me NSW app or submit a Stewardship Support Program application to find out if there are in-demand credits on their land.

Step 2: The land is assessed by an accredited assessor

The site is assessed using the Biodiversity Assessment Method by an Accredited assessor. The assessor’s report will set out:

  • the class, type and number of credits generated by the biodiversity stewardship agreement
  • a proposed management plan for the site which will form part of the biodiversity stewardship agreement.

This may also be the time to start discussing the proposed BSA with any property interest holders (eg banks and other landholders). Landholders can also start looking for a credit buyer or finding out if the Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund could buy the credits.

Step 3: The landholder applies for a BSA

An application for a biodiversity stewardship agreement (BSA) is made by the landholder, or another person acting on behalf of the landholder. Applications are checked for legal and technical requirements, including that the biodiversity assessment method has been correctly applied.  

The biodiversity stewardship agreement is then prepared based on a standard template. It includes the number and type of credits generated, a payment schedule for annual payments to the landholder (total is called the Total Fund Deposit), and a management plan for the site to improve biodiversity, plus other terms and conditions. The biodiversity stewardship agreement is signed by the landholder and Minister’s delegate. The agreement is registered on title and runs with the land. Credits are issued when they are registered.

Step 4: Credits can be sold

Buyers include proponents who need credits to offset development, or governments who need to offset the impact of infrastructure projects or as part of a conservation program. Government also buys credits for onselling through the Credits Supply Fund or the Biodiversity Conservation Fund.

The sale of credits is recorded in the public register of credit transactions.

By selling the credits, the landholder uses the proceeds of sale to pay the Total Fund Deposit (TFD), which provides for the site to be managed in the long-term through annual management payments made by the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT).

Any additional money that is made from the sale of credits beyond the Total Fund Deposit amount can be retained as profit by the landholder.

Step 5: Landholder receives annual payments and implements the management plan

Once the biodiversity stewardship agreement is signed, the landholder is responsible for implementing the biodiversity stewardship agreement. When the Total Fund Deposit is also paid, landholders receive their first annual management payment and the site moves into ‘active management’ when there are additional requirements for active management (for example, weed and pest management).

The Biodiversity Conservation Trust makes annual payments to the landholder in perpetuity. There are 5-yearly reviews of the plan, and the biodiversity assessment method can be re-applied and the management plan updated after 20 years. Landholders may be subject to auditing and other compliance activities by the Taskforce, Biodiversity Conservation Trust or the department.

Contact us

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