Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Biodiversity Values Map

Find out how to use and ask for explanations and reviews of the Biodiversity Values Map, as well as what updates have been made to the map. Learn how to view the map through the Biodiversity Values Map and Threshold tool, and access the user guide.

The Biodiversity Values (BV) Map identifies land with high biodiversity value that is particularly sensitive to impacts from development and clearing. The map forms part of the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Threshold which is one of the triggers for determining whether the Biodiversity Offset Scheme (BOS) applies to a clearing or development proposal. The map has been prepared by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) under Part 7 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act).

Transitional arrangements

In some areas of New South Wales, commencement of the BOS (including the BV Map) for local development has been delayed. See the transitional arrangements to find out when the Scheme applies to local development in your area.

Using the Biodiversity Values Map

The BV Map is relevant to:

  • local developments (development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 which is not state significant development or complying development)
  • clearing regulated by the State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation) 2017 (Vegetation SEPP).

If a relevant clearing or development proposal has one of the following impacts in an area on the BV Map, the BOS applies:

Viewing the Biodiversity Values Map

You can view the BV Map through the Biodiversity Values Map and Threshold (BMAT) tool.

The tool allows developers, landholders and consent authorities to determine whether proposed development or clearing activates the BOS. You can use the tool to search for a location using an address or lot and deposited plan (DP) number. The tool can produce a report that states whether the BOS threshold is triggered.

For more information about the BMAT tool,  you can read the BMAT tool user guide.

Accessing the Biodiversity Values Map data

You can access BV Map spatial data through the Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) Portal.

Information about mapped values on a property

Landholders, or their agents, can request a BV Map Explanation Report. The report provides detailed descriptions and maps for all biodiversity values applicable to a landholding.

Local councils or the Native Vegetation Panel can also request a BV Map Explanation Report for a property for which they have received a development or clearing application.

To request an explanation report, please complete the application form for Landholders  or Councils, or contact us at map.review@environment.nsw.gov.au or on 02 6360 9000.

There is no cost to prepare an explanation report and applications are usually completed within 15 working days.

Requesting a review of the mapped values on a property

You or your agent can request a review of the BV Map for your property if you feel a value has been incorrectly mapped. A review may result in an amendment to the map. You will receive a report on the review outcomes. We recommended that you seek an explanation report describing the biodiversity values on your landholding before requesting a map review.

To request a map review, complete the Biodiversity Values Map Review application form or contact the Map Review Team at map.review@environment.nsw.gov.au or on 02 6360 9000. There is no cost for a BV Map review.

Values on the Biodiversity Values Map

Clause 7.3(3) of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 describe types of land the Environment Agency Head can include on the BV Map.

These land types are:

  1. Coastal wetlands and littoral rainforest defined by the Coastal Management Act 2016
  2. Core koala habitat identified in a plan of management under State Environmental Planning Policy No. 44—Koala Habitat Protection (SEPP 44)
  3. Declared Ramsar wetlands defined by the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
  4. Land containing threatened species or threatened ecological communities identified as potential serious and irreversible impacts (SAII) under Section 6.5 of the BC Act
  5. Protected riparian land
  6. High conservation value grasslands or groundcover
  7. Old growth forest identified in mapping developed under the National Forests Policy Statement but excluding areas not meeting the criteria published jointly by the Minister of the Environment and the Minister for Primary Industries
  8. Rainforest identified in mapping developed under the National Forests Policy Statement but excluding areas not meeting the criteria published jointly by the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Primary Industries
  9. Declared areas of outstanding biodiversity value
  10. Council nominated areas with connectivity or threatened species habitat that the Minister for the Environment considers will conserve biodiversity at bioregional or State scale
  11. Any other land that in the opinion of the Environment Agency Head is of sufficient biodiversity value to be included.These are set out in clause 7.3(3) of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017.

Updates to the Biodiversity Values Map

From time to time, OEH will update the BV Map to add or remove areas based on new information.

Updates to the BV Map are likely to include targeted reviews of specific data layers or regions. This process may result in inclusion or removal of some lands from the map. OEH will contact relevant data custodians to request updated or new data.

Local government nominations for additions to the Biodiversity Values Map

OEH expects to call for local government nominations for land to be included on the map. This will be communicated directly to local government.

The Minister for the Environment must be of the view that the nominated land will be of bioregional or state significance. The nominated land must also be approved by the Environment Agency Head.

At this stage there has been no call for nominations from local government.

Map versions

The following table sets out the amendments that have been made to BV Map.

Date published

Description

9 November 2018
(version 3)

The following changes were made:

  • Addition of core areas of the Coastal Management State Environment Planning Policy (SEPP) replacing the former SEPP 14 – Coastal Wetlands and SEPP 26 – Littoral Rainforest
  • Removal of biocertified areas not applicable to the biodiversity offset scheme
  • Addition of revised Port Stephens & Kempsey comprehensive koala plans of management – core koala habitat
  • Removal of protected riparian land on urban zoned land
  • Changes resulting from landholder initiated map reviews
  • Refinement of threatened species and communities’ habitat mapping in the Alpine Resorts SEPP area
  • Adjusted map colours identifying areas added to the BV Map in the last 90 days
  • Removal of habitat mapping for the five-clawed worm skink
  • Refinement of mapping displayed on the BV Map.

See the BV Map – version 3 fact sheet for more information on these changes.

13 December 2017
(version 2)

Addition of mapping for:

  • the little penguin declared area of outstanding biodiversity value at Manly (referred to as critical habitat under the former Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995)
  • One threatened ecological community and four threatened species on land covered by the State Environmental Planning Policy (Kosciuszko National Park—Alpine Resorts) 2007.

25 August 2017
(version 1)

Release of the original state-wide map

Areas added to the Biodiversity Values Map

Proposed development to be carried out on land that is added to the BV Map does not exceed the BOS threshold if:

  • the land is the subject of a planning approval made up to 90 days after the land is added to the BV Map
  • if the land was already the subject of a planning approval when the land was added to the BV Map.

Areas added to the BV Map in the last 90 days are shown in dark purple to distinguish them from areas that have been on the map longer than 90 days which are shown in light purple.

Areas on the biodiversity values map where the proposal does not involve clearing native vegetation or threatened species habitat

If development within areas on the BV Map does not involve clearing native vegetation (including groundcover, trees and understorey plants) or a prescribed impact (as set out in clause 6.1 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017) within the mapped area, the BOS is not applied based on the BV Map. Development applications need to show evidence to support this.

However, the proponent must also consider other criteria for the BOS:

  • whether the area of native vegetation clearing in areas not on the BV Map exceeds the clearing area thresholds as specified in clause 7.2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017
  • whether the proposed development or activity is likely to significantly affect threatened species, or ecological communities or their habitats based on the test of significance in section 7.3 of the BC Act.

You can find out more about the Scheme on our BOS webpage or you can contact OEH at lmbc.support@environment.nsw.gov.au or on 1800 931 717.

Relationship between the Biodiversity Values Map and the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map

Some land included on the BV Map is also land categorised on the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map (NVR Map). However, the two maps have different purposes. The NVR Map determines how clearing on rural land not requiring planning approval, is regulated under the Local Land Services Act 2013 and associated regulation. The BV Map represents one of the criteria for entry into the BOS for some types of clearing and development proposals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Find out more about the NVR Map.

Contact us

If you have an enquiry about the BOS, including the BV Map, please contact the LMBC Service Centre on lmbc.support@environment.nsw.gov.au or 1800 931 717.

Page last updated: 16 November 2018