Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

A Biodiversity Indicator Program for NSW

It is important to assess the status of biodiversity accurately, now and into the future. Doing so allows us to understand how well current biodiversity management and conservation measures are working. The Biodiversity Indicator Program is developing the indicators to perform that assessment.

The New South Wales Government has introduced legislation for biodiversity conservation and native vegetation management, including the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (the Act). One of the main goals of the Act is to conserve biodiversity.

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has established a monitoring program to assess the status of biodiversity and ecological integrity in New South Wales at the beginning of the Act – the first assessment – then at recommended intervals, including contributing to the five-year review of the Act.

Developing biodiversity indicators

Recording the status of all plant and animal species across New South Wales is a very large, complex task, especially when many species remain undiscovered. To simplify the task, we have developed broad-scale indicators of the status of biodiversity and the capacity of ecosystems to retain biodiversity and adapt to change (ecological integrity). This work is a partnership between OEH staff and other Australian biodiversity experts from CSIRO, the Australian Museum and Macquarie University. 

A suite of indicators has been identified for biodiversity and ecological integrity. The method used to develop the indicators has been peer-reviewed and is available in a technical report (Measuring biodiversity and ecological integrity in NSW: Method for the Biodiversity Indicator Program) along with a plain-English summary (Measuring biodiversity and ecological integrity in NSW: Method summary).

The first assessment of the status of NSW biodiversity and ecological integrity will be available in the NSW Biodiversity Outlook Report, subject to peer review.

Implementation reports will detail how indicators have been assessed. These reports will be published, and their datasets uploaded to the NSW Government's Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) Portal when the first NSW Biodiversity Outlook Report is finalised.

Products of the Biodiversity Indicator Program

Diagram showing the hierarchy of products in the Biodiversity Indicator Program

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Page last updated: 31 May 2019