Creation of biodiversity credits
The number and class of credits that may be created from a biobank site will be specified in the biobanking agreement. The Director General may create a biodiversity credit if satisfied that the relevant management actions have been, are being, or will be carried out in accordance with the biobanking agreement.
Once created, the Director General must register the credit on the register of biodiversity credits. The register of biodiversity credits tracks the ownership and status of the credits, for example, whether they are retired or are in force. A credit remains in force unless it is cancelled or retired under the scheme.
Trading of credits
Anyone is able to buy credits subject to the regulations. A typical purchaser could be a developer seeking to offset their projects' impacts on biodiversity. Other buyers could be government bodies using the market to achieve conservation outcomes or philanthropic organisations using the scheme's robust structure to ensure the benefits of their endowments are maintained in perpetuity.
Ultimately, the market will determine the overall price paid for each credit. The landowner and credit purchaser will be free to negotiate any price as long as the Total Fund Deposit is deposited in the BioBanking Trust Fund.
When a developer is purchasing credits to offset the impact of their development, there are trading rules (contained in the Biobanking Assessment Methodology) that must be adhered to.
When a sale of credits takes place, the original owner of the credits must fill in the application to transfer biodiversity credits form and send it to OEH to have the credits transferred to the new owner.
Retirement of biodiversity credits
Biodiversity credits must be retired to offset the impact of a development on biodiversity values. This may be done to comply with the terms set out in a biobanking statement or, in the case of Part 3A developments, to satisfy consent conditions negotiated with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure. Biodiversity credits can also be retired voluntarily, for example by philanthropic organisations. The application to retire biodiversity credits form must be submitted to OEH before credit retirement is approved.
Information about credit holdings, transactions, price history and retirements is shown on the BioBanking Public Register.
Page last updated: 24 May 2011