Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Native Vegetation Regulatory Map

The Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map was prepared by OEH under Part 5A of the amended Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act) and supporting regulation.

Staged release of map categories:

The map categories will be published and come into full effect in stages as follows:

Stage 1a: Category 2 - Vulnerable Land and Category 2 - Sensitive Land mapping came into force on 25 August 2017 and have full regulatory effect. These categories are available on the Map Viewer.

Stage 1b: Category 1 – Unregulated Land and Category 2 – Regulated Land mapping layers will initially be published as a draft and will not have regulatory effect. The release of Stage 1b layers of the NVR map has been delayed and is awaiting final government consideration and approval. Further advice about when these categories will become available on the Map Viewer will be announced soon.

Stage 2: Category 1 – Unregulated Land and Category 2 – Regulated Land mapping will commence with full regulatory effect at least 6 months after the commencement of Stage 1b.

Stage 1 is referred to in the LLS Act as the transition period.

During the transition period when Stage 1b draft NVR mapping does not have regulatory effect, landowners will be responsible for determining how Category 1 - Unregulated Land and Category 2 – Regulated Land applies to their land, in accordance with the LLS Act. Local Land Services can provide information to assist landholders. 

The NVR Map covers all rural land in NSW. It categorises land into areas where clearing of native vegetation can occur without approval, where clearing can only be carried out in accordance with Part 5A of the LLS Act or other legislation and excluded land where the LLS Act does not apply. 

A table defining each of the NVR Map categories is shown below.

The various categories of the NVR Map will be released under staged transitional arrangements, with all categories expected to come into force by early 2018. From this time the NVR Map categories will guide the application of the Act, Regulation and Land Management Code on that land.

The NVR Map will be updated regularly including:

  • Annual updates following application of new or improved data
  • More frequent updates capturing new information such as code certification and set-aside sites
  • Landholder Initiated Map Review (LIMR) changes

Due to ongoing refinements and updates to the NVR Map you should always check if the map has changed before undertaking any clearing activities on your property. The Map Viewer will allow you to print a date stamped version of the map. It is recommended that you print a copy of the map for your records prior to undertaking any vegetation clearing works.

The NVR map is presented using the 5 colours shown below which represent each category or sub-category.


How the Map was made

The NVR Map is prepared using a peer reviewed scientific method (the map method). The map method explains how spatial analysis is applied to determine the base layer of the map and identifies; land cleared as at January 1990, or lawfully cleared between 1 January 1990 and commencement of Part 5A of the LLS Act. It also explains how other data layers are used to categorise the land.

In simple terms, land is mapped as Category 1 where it has been lawfully cleared. However, the legislation may require the land to be a different category based on other criteria. 

The other criteria may also determine when land is categorised as Category 2 – Vulnerable Regulated Land which are steep lands, riparian lands or special category lands or Category 2 – Sensitive Regulated Lands which are identified in the Regulation.

If you would like detailed information about the data layers applicable to your property, you may apply to the OEH for a Category Explanation Report (CER). A CER provides information relating to each land category on your landholding. If you do not have internet access you may contact OEH for a printed copy of your map.

If you disagree with the categorisation of your land you can apply to the Office of Environment and Heritage for a review. A Landholder Initiated Map Review allows you to provide further information to reviewers so that they can undertake further assessment of the categorisation of your land.

More information

More information about Category Explanation Reports and the Landholder Initiated Map Review process is available from OEH Map Review Webpage, or by contacting the Map Review Team: 02 6360 9000 or

Further information about the NSW Biodiversity Reforms and the NSW Native Vegetation Regulation Map can be found on the NSW Land Management website. 

Page last updated: 24 January 2018