The Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 introduces new terms that are specific to the Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme. To help understand these concepts, this glossary provides a brief explanation of the meaning of those terms and others that are frequently used in the scheme.
For the full definitions of the terms used, please refer to Part 7A of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 available at www.legislation.nsw.gov.au
Download the BioBanking glossary, 09116bbglossary.pdf, 276KB, requires Acrobat Reader) or read it below.
accredited assessor see BioBanking Assessor.
adjacent remnant area The area of moderate to good condition native vegetation of which the biobank site or development site is a part, which is linked (≤100 m for woody vegetation and ≤ 30 m for non-woody vegetation) to the next area of native vegetation. Adjacent remnant area provides landscape context to the biobank or development site and may extend onto adjoining land.
assessment circle Circles of 100 ha and 1,000 ha in which percent native vegetation cover in the landscape is assessed, taking into account both cover and condition of vegetation, for credit profiles and for Landscape Value score.
asset-protection zone An area surrounding a development (or building) where the vegetation-based fuel load is managed to reduce the bushfire hazard to an acceptable level.
benchmarks (vegetation benchmarks) Quantitative measures of the range of variability in vegetation condition where there is relatively little evidence of modification by humans since European (post-1750) settlement. Benchmarks are defined for specified variables for vegetation communities. Vegetation with relatively little evidence of modification generally has minimal timber harvesting (few stumps, coppicing, cut logs), minimal firewood collection, minimal exotic weed cover, minimal grazing and trampling by introduced or overabundant native herbivores, minimal soil disturbance, minimal canopy dieback, no evidence of recent fire or flood, not subject to high-frequency burning, and evidence of recruitment of native species. Benchmarks are available by vegetation class (sensu Keith 2004) at: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/projects/BiometricTool.htm and can also be obtained from reference sites or published sources.
BIMS see BioBanking Information Management System
biobank site Land designated by a biobanking agreement to be a biobank site.
biobank site owner (site owner) The owner of land specified as a biobank site.
BioBanking Assessor A person who has been accredited in accordance with s.142B(1)(c) of the TSC Act to use the methodology and Credit Calculator.
BioBanking Information Management System (BIMS) A computer application that holds data and supports the BioBanking Scheme and its administration.
biobanking agreement An agreement between the landowner and the Minister for the Environment (under Part 7A of the TSC Act) for the purpose of establishing a biobank site. The agreement states the management actions to be carried out to improve biodiversity values on the site and thereby create biodiversity credits under the scheme (s.127D of the TSC Act).
biobanking agreements register The register of biobanking agreements kept by the Director General under Part 7A of the TSC Act.
BioBanking Assessment Methodology (the methodology) The rules established under s.127B of the TSC Act. The BioBanking Assessment Methodology determines:
- the number and class of credits required to offset the loss in biodiversity values caused by development
- the number and class of credits that may be created by management actions that improve biodiversity values at a biobank site
- the circumstances that improve or maintain biodiversity values.
BioBanking Assessment Methodology and Credit Calculator Operational Manual (the operational manual) An operational manual that provides instructions on how to apply the methodology and the Credit Calculator, including the collection of data and field survey methods.
BioBanking Compliance Assurance Strategy A document outlining OEH's approach to compliance assurance for the Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme.
BioBanking Credit Calculator (the calculator) A computer program that applies the methodology and calculates the number and classes of credits required at a development site or created at a biobank site.
biobanking public register see biodiversity credits register.
BioBanking Regulation (the regulation) The Threatened Species Conservation (Biodiversity Banking) Regulation 2008.
BioBanking Scheme (BioBanking; the scheme) The Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme established under Part 7A of the TSC Act.
biobanking statement A statement issued under s.127ZL of the TSC Act, specifying the number and class of credits to be retired for a particular development in accordance with the methodology. The statement may include other conditions to minimise the impact of the development on biodiversity values. If provided to a consent or determining authority under the EP&A Act, the statement must be included as a condition of development consent or approval.
biobanking statements register The register of biobanking statements kept by the Director General under Part 7A of the TSC Act.
BioBanking Trust Fund The trust fund established under Part 7A of the TSC Act to hold funds from the sale of credits (the total fund deposit). These funds are held in an account for the biobank site. The fund manager makes payments to the owners of biobank sites in accordance with biobanking agreements and the regulations.
BioBanking Trust Fund Account An account held within the BioBanking Trust Fund, which is held for a biobank site.
Biodiversity Banking Special Deposits Account A special deposit account established, under Part 7A of the TSC Act, to manage the administration costs of the BioBanking Scheme.
biodiversity certification Certification that an environmental planning instrument (EPI) established under the EP&A Act, such as a Local Environmental Plan, will have an ‘improve or maintain’ outcome for biodiversity values. Certification can be conferred on an EPI by the Minister for the Environment (in relation to the TSC Act) and the Minister for Primary Industries (in relation to the Fisheries Management Act 1994).
biodiversity credits Ecosystem or species credits required to offset the loss of biodiversity values on development sites or created on biobank sites from management actions that improve biodiversity values.
biodiversity credits register The register of biodiversity credits kept by the Director General under Part 7A of the TSC Act.
biodiversity offsets One or more appropriate actions put in place in an appropriate location to counterbalance (offset) an impact on biodiversity values.
biodiversity values These include the composition, structure and function of ecosystems, and (but not limited to) threatened species, populations and ecological communities, and their habitats. This does not include fish or marine vegetation within the meaning of Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 unless that fish or marine vegetation has been the subject of an order under s.5A of the TSC Act.
calculator see BioBanking Credit Calculator.
certified local data see more appropriate local data.
cleared land Where the native over-storey has been cleared, there is no native mid-storey (or the native mid-storey has been cleared), and less than 50% of the ground cover vegetation is indigenous species, or greater than 90% of the ground cover (dead or alive) is cleared.
CMA area The area of operation of a catchment management authority, as described in Schedule 2 of the Catchment Management Authorities Act 2003.
CMA subregion Subregions of catchment management authority areas as set out in the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology, Native Vegetation Regulation 2005.
compliance audit An assessment of an auditee’s activities to determine whether certain requirements are being met. The requirements are determined before the audit commences and are known as audit criteria.
connectivity A measure of the degree to which an area (or areas) of native vegetation is linked with other areas of vegetation.
consent authority The council, public authority or minister who has the function of determining a particular development application under the EP&A Act.
conservation broker A person who provides assistance to potential participants of the scheme, for example with establishing a biobank site or the buying and selling of credits.
Credit Calculator see BioBanking Credit Calculator.
credit holder A person recorded as the current owner of that credit in the register of biodiversity credits.
credit profile A description of the credit created or required in a vegetation zone or group of zones, according to the attributes of CMA subregion, vegetation type, vegetation formation, surrounding vegetation cover, and patch size including low-condition vegetation.
credit retirement condition A condition contained in a biobanking statement to specify the number and class of biodiversity credits that must be retired for a specific development so that the development will improve or maintain biodiversity values.
critically endangered ecological community see threatened ecological community.
DECC The Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW
DECCW The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW
deferred retirement arrangement An arrangement under s.127ZT of the TSC Act that enables the Minister for the Environment to hold biodiversity credits until restorative actions have been completed at a development site.
derived vegetation communities Native vegetation communities where one or more structural components of the vegetation have been entirely removed, severely reduced, or developed where they were previously absent as a consequence of management practices (sometimes in association with environmental conditions) following European settlement.
development Includes development within the meaning of the EP&A Act and includes an activity within the meaning of Part 5 of that Act and may also include projects under Part 3A of that Act.
development for which biobanking is available Any development other than:
- any clearing of native vegetation, which must not be carried out except in accordance with a development consent or property vegetation plan under the Native Vegetation Act 2003
- a development for which the regulations declare biobanking is not available.
development site An area of land that is subject to a proposed development for which a biobanking statement is sought or obtained.
ecosystem credit The class of biodiversity credits created or required for the impact on general biodiversity values and some threatened species; that is, for biodiversity values except threatened species or populations that require species credits. Species that require ecosystem credits are listed in the Threatened Species Profile Database.
endangered ecological community see threatened ecological community.
environmental contribution A contribution for the conservation or enhancement of the natural environment, as defined in s.127B(10) of the TSC Act.
environmental planning instrument A plan created under the EP&A Act to regulate land use.
EP&A Act Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
EPBC Act Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
expert A person accredited by the Director General under s.142B(1)(b) of the TSC Act, or, if arrangements for accreditation under s.142B(1)(b) are not in place, a person who has the relevant experience and/or qualifications to provide expert opinion in relation to the biodiversity values to which an expert report relates
fit and proper person test Information taken into consideration by OEH in determining whether a person or corporation is suitable to enter into a biobanking agreement. The test is set out in the Threatened Species Conservation (Biodiversity Banking) Regulation 2008.
Fund Manager The person appointed by the Minister as the fund manager to manage the BioBanking Trust Fund, in accordance with TSC Act and regulations.
general biodiversity values Biodiversity values assessed in the methodology, excluding assessment of threatened species and populations.
GPS Global positioning system receiver. A differential GPS receiver should be used where it is practical and available.
grassland Native vegetation classified in the vegetation formation grasslands in Ocean Shores to Desert Dunes: the Native Vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT (Keith D 2004, Department of Environment and Conservation NSW, Hurstville, NSW). Grasslands are generally dominated by large perennial tussock grasses, a lack of woody plants, the presence of broad-leaved herbs in inter-tussock spaces, and their ecological association with fertile, heavy clay soils on flat topography in regions with low to moderate rainfall.
group of credits Credits from a development or biobank site that have an identical credit profile.
habitat An area or areas occupied, or periodically or occasionally occupied, by a species, population or ecological community, including any biotic or abiotic component.
habitat surrogates Measures of habitat for threatened species, populations and communities; in the methodology they are CMA subregion, vegetation type, percent vegetation cover, vegetation condition and patch area including low-condition vegetation.
herbfield Native vegetation that predominantly does not contain an over-storey or mid-storey and where the ground cover is dominated by non-grass species.
highly cleared vegetation type A vegetation type which has 10% or less of its estimated pre-1750 distribution in the CMA remaining (as shown by the Vegetation Types Database).
holder of a biodiversity credit (credit holder) see credit holder.
identified population A population present within an area of land if identified as habitat for a particular species and listed in the Identified Population Database.
Identified Population Database A database that may be published by OEH and made publicly available on the web, which contains information such as a map or criteria that describe the location of an identified population.
impact assessment The impact assessment that is referred to in s.127ZK(3)(c) of the TSC Act, which must be prepared in accordance with the methodology. The methodology requires the impact assessment to address the criteria used to justify an impact on a red flag area under section 2.3 of the methodology, the assessment of indirect impacts of the development under section 2.4, and the assessment of the direct impacts of the development under sections 3 and 4 of the methodology.
impacts on biodiversity values Refers to the loss in biodiversity values on or off the development site and the gain in biodiversity values at the biobank site.
individual A single, mature organism.
improve or maintain biodiversity values A development is to be regarded as improving or maintaining biodiversity values if:
1(a) The development does not directly impact on biodiversity values in a red flag area on the development site.
1(b) The development does directly impact on biodiversity values in a red flag area on the development site but the Director General makes a determination that the development may be regarded as improving or maintaining biodiversity values according to the BioBanking Assessment Methodology.
2 The direct impacts of the development on biodiversity values on the development site are offset by the retirement of biodiversity credits determined in accordance with the offset rules in the BioBanking Assessment Methodology.
3 The Director General determines that any indirect impacts of the development on on-site and off-site biodiversity values that cannot be mitigated through on-site measures are offset by the retirement of biodiversity credits determined in accordance with the offset rules in the BioBanking Assessment Methodology.
Landscape Value A measure of fragmentation, connectivity and adjacency of native vegetation at a site. Landscape Value comprises:
- percent native vegetation cover in the 100-ha and 1,000-ha assessment circles in which the development or biobank sites are located
- connectivity with surrounding vegetation
- the total adjacent remnant area.
low-condition vegetation Woody native vegetation where:
- the native over-storey percentage of foliage cover is less than 25% of the lower value of the over-storey percentage of foliage cover benchmark for that vegetation type and
- less than 50% of ground cover vegetation is indigenous species, or
- more than 90% of ground cover vegetation is cleared.
Native grassland, wetland or herbfield where:
- less than 50% of ground cover vegetation is indigenous species, or
- more than 90% of ground cover vegetation is cleared.
If native vegetation is not in low condition, it is in moderate to good condition.
management actions An action or proposed action carried out at a biobank site in order to improve or maintain biodiversity values in respect of which biodiversity credits may be created.
management zone Where the extent of development impact or improvement through management varies over a vegetation zone, a management zone is used for the purpose of calculating the change in Site Value for that vegetation zone.
methodology see BioBanking Assessment Methodology.
Mitchell landscape Landscape with relatively homogeneous geomorphology, soils and broad vegetation types, mapped at a scale of 1:250000.
moderate to good condition vegetation Native vegetation that is not in low condition, as defined in section 2.1.1 of the methodology.
more appropriate local data Data that more accurately reflects local environmental conditions, as certified by the Director General in relation to the Vegetation Benchmarks Database, the Vegetation Types Database and the Threatened Species Profile Database.
native regrowth As defined by the Native Vegetation Act 2003; means any native vegetation that has regrown since the earlier of the following dates:
(a) 1 January 1983 in the case of land in the Western Division and 1 January 1990 in the case of other land
(b) the date specified in a property vegetation plan for the purposes of this definition (in exceptional circumstances being a date based on existing rotational farming practices).
native vegetation Vegetation described in s.6 of the Native Vegetation Act 2003. Native vegetation is used as a surrogate for general biodiversity values in the methodology.
notional assessment and notional information Undertaking an assessment by using information on vegetation type, vegetation condition or presence/absence of threatened species obtained from remote imagery rather than from site surveys; or assessment of threatened species from surveys or expert reports without using the initial or secondary filtering criteria.
offset rules Circumstances in which credits can be used (retired) for a development to improve or maintain biodiversity values.
operational manual see BioBanking Assessment Methodology and Credit Calculator Operational Manual.
patch size, including low-condition vegetation The area of moderate- to good- and low-condition native vegetation of which the biobank site or development site is a part, which is linked to the next area of native vegetation (≤less than 100 m from for woody vegetation and ≤30 m for non-woody vegetation). Patch size, including low-condition vegetation, provides landscape context to the biobank or development site, and may extend onto adjoining land.
percent cleared The percentage of a vegetation type that has been cleared within a CMA area as a proportion of its pre-1750 extent as identified in the Vegetation Types Database.
percent foliage cover The percentage of ground that would be covered by a vertical projection of the foliage, and branches and trunk of a plant or plants.
percent vegetation cover The percentage of native vegetation cover in the 100-ha and 1,000-ha assessment circles in which the vegetation zone is located. The percent native vegetation cover within the assessment circles is visually estimated from aerial or satellite imagery, taking into account both cover and condition of vegetation.
plot An area in which some of the 10 site attributes that make up the value score are assessed in a vegetation zone.
public register The BioBanking public register established under s.127ZZ of the TSC Act to provide details of all biobanking agreements, biobanking statements and biodiversity credits.
red flag area An area of land (part of a development site) with high biodiversity conservation values. The impact of the development on the biodiversity values of a red flag area cannot be offset by the retirement of biodiversity credits unless the Director General determines that strict avoidance of the red flag area is unnecessary in the circumstances.
reference sites Relatively unmodified sites used to obtain local benchmark information when benchmarks in the Vegetation Benchmark Database are too broad or otherwise incorrect for the vegetation type and/or local situation. Benchmarks can also be obtained from published sources.
register of biobanking agreements see biobanking agreements register.
register of biobanking statements see biobanking statements register.
register of biodiversity credits see biodiversity credits register.
regulation see BioBanking Regulation.
retirement A process to identify if credits have been used for a purpose such as to offset a development or achieve a conservation outcome. Credits cannot be transferred after they have been retired.
retirement of biodiversity credits A change in the status of a credit such that the credit can no longer be bought or sold.
retirement of credits may be required to comply with a biobanking statement or a direction issued by the Minister for the Environment, or they may be retired voluntarily.
scheme see BioBanking Scheme.
site attributes Attributes used to assess Site Value and threatened species habitat. The 10 site attributes are native plant species richness, native over-storey cover, native mid-storey cover, native ground cover (grasses), native ground cover (shrubs), native ground cover (other), exotic plant cover (as a percentage of total ground and mid-storey cover), number of trees with hollows, proportion of over-storey species occurring as regeneration, and total length of fallen logs.
site owner see biobank site owner.
Site Value A quantitative measure of structural, compositional and functional condition of native vegetation, measured by site attributes.
species credit The class of biodiversity credit created or required for the impact on threatened species that cannot be reliably predicted to use an area of land based on habitat surrogates. Species that require species credits are listed in the Threatened Species Profile Database.
species that cannot withstand any loss In general, a species is identified as not being able to withstand any loss within a CMA if the species is known to occur in less than three populations within that CMA area (also see section 2.3 of the methodology).
species polygon The actual area of habitat, or number of individuals of a threatened species, impacted by development at the development site or by management actions at the biobank site.
statement holder The holder of a biobanking statement.
surrounding vegetation cover see percent vegetation cover.
TG value The ability of a species to respond to improvement in Site Value or other habitat improvement at a biobank site with management actions. TG is based on the lowest value of the following: effectiveness of management actions, life history characteristics, naturally very rare species and very poorly known species.
threatened ecological community As defined in s. 4(1) of the TSC Act and any additional critically endangered ecological communities listed under Part 13 of the EPBC Act.
threatened population An endangered population as defined in s.4(1) of the TSC Act.
threatened species Critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable threatened species and populations as defined in s.4(1) of the TSC Act; or any additional threatened species listed under Part 13 of the EPBC Act as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.
Threatened Species Profile Database The database containing information on habitat characteristics, range, response to management actions, survey requirements, and the class of biodiversity credits required for the species. It is used for calculation of ecosystem or species credits, filtering to determine the likely presence of threatened species, information on threatened species’ ability to withstand loss, and threatened species’ response to management.
threatened species sub-zone The area of vegetation that is assessed initially to determine which threatened species are assessed for biodiversity credits at a development site and a biobank site.
threatened species survey A targeted survey for a threatened species, undertaken in accordance with OEH guidelines to determine if the species is present.
transect A line or narrow belt along which environmental data is collected.
transfer of a biodiversity credit The transfer of a biodiversity credit between a holder of the biodiversity credit and another person. This would take place, for example, during the buying and selling of credits.
TSC Act Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Total Fund Deposit The amount required to be deposited into the BioBanking Trust Fund when credits are first transferred or retired in accordance with the regulations. The Total Fund Deposit is the estimated cost of managing the site (including both management actions and other costs).
variation process A process to allow specific site factors to be considered in deciding whether a development on red flag areas will improve or maintain biodiversity values. A variation can only be made where the biodiversity values on the site are not viable or have low viability determined in accordance with scientific criteria.
Vegetation Benchmarks Database A database of benchmarks for vegetation classes and some vegetation types. Vegetation benchmarks can also be collected from reference sites.
vegetation class A level of classification of vegetation communities defined in Ocean shores to desert dunes: the native vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT (Keith D 2004, Department of Environment and Conservation NSW). There are 99 vegetation classes in NSW.
vegetation formation A broad level of vegetation classification, as defined in Ocean Shores to Desert Dunes: the Native Vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT (Keith D 2004, Department of Environment and Conservation NSW). There are
12 vegetation formations in NSW.
vegetation type The finest level of classification of native vegetation used in the methodology. Vegetation types are assigned to vegetation classes, which in turn are assigned to vegetation formations. There are approximately 1,600 vegetation types within NSW.
Vegetation Types Database A database which contains the information on each vegetation type used in the methodology and comprises a description of each vegetation type, its class and formation, the CMA area within which the vegetation type occurs, the percent cleared value of the vegetation type, and the source of the information.
vegetation benchmarks see benchmarks.
vegetation zone (zone) A relatively homogenous area in a proposal area (development or biobank site) that is of the same vegetation type and broad condition. A single zone must not contain a mix of vegetation in low condition and not in low condition. Zones with the same vegetation type and in moderate to good condition (that is, not in low condition) can be combined within one ecosystem credit profile (as a sub-zone). A zone may comprise one or more discontinuous areas.
viability The ability of biodiversity values in an area to persist for many generations or over long periods of time.
wetland Native vegetation classified in the vegetation formation defined as freshwater wetland in Ocean shores to desert dunes: the native vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT (Keith D 2004, Department of Environment and Conservation NSW). Freshwater wetlands are areas of land affected by permanent or semi-permanent inundation by either standing or running water. The vegetation is typically dominated by shrubs, sedges or herbs.
woody native vegetation Native vegetation that contains an over-storey and/or mid-storey that predominantly consists of trees and/or shrubs.
zone see vegetation zone.
Back to top
Page last updated: 24 May 2011