Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Applying for an assessment of reasonable equivalence of biodiversity credits – existing BioBanking credits

How to apply for an assessment of reasonable equivalence of existing BioBanking credits.

If you wish to apply for an assessment of reasonable credit equivalence for your BioBanking credits you should complete the Application for an Assessment of Reasonable Equivalence of Biodiversity Credits-created credits form (PDF 788KB).

You will need to attach a current BioBanking credit ownership report to the application.

You will also need to attach a copy of your identification that has been certified by a Justice of the Peace or via the Australia Post witnessing service. To find a Justice of the Peace near you visit the NSW Justice Department website. To find out more about the Australia Post witnessing service visit their site.

Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) may undertake further verification of your identity and you will need to provide your consent to this. To find out more about how OEH manages personal information please read our commitment to privacy and security.

If you are signing the form on behalf of the applicant, you must provide both the identity verification for the BioBanking credit owner and yourself. Also, you must state the nature of your legal authority and attach documentary evidence of this authority (e.g. power of attorney, executor, trustee, company director etc.).

Assessment of an application for reasonable equivalence process – existing BioBanking credits

Where a request for reasonable equivalence is made for the purpose of determining the reasonably equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits from BioBanking credits issued under the TSC Act, OEH will adopt the following approach.

An assessment will be applied to all the BioBanking credits from the original BioBanking agreement regardless of whether they are owned by multiple owners. However, you will be supplied with information that only relates to the BioBanking credits you own. OEH will not assess applications for part of the BioBanking credits you own – we will assess all the BioBanking credits you own.

Calculations resulting in a value of 0 will be rounded up to 1.

Ecosystem credits

OEH will determine the number and type of Biodiversity Offsets Scheme ecosystem credits that are reasonably equivalent by applying the Biodiversity Assessment Methodology (BAM) as per BAM equation 4 to the approved area of each vegetation zone or part vegetation zone. Vegetation integrity gain is calculated based on Biobanking Assessment Methodology (BBAM) site value score, averted loss and Security Benefit Scores. A percentage reduction for sites with existing conservation obligation is based on the original BBAM percentage reduction. The class of credit will be updated using information from the Biodiversity Assessment Report (BAR).

Species credits (fauna)

OEH will determine the number and type of Biodiversity Offsets Scheme species credits that are reasonably equivalent by applying the BAM as per BAM equation 5 to the approved area of each vegetation zone or part vegetation zone. Vegetation integrity gain is calculated based on BBAM site value score, averted loss and Security Benefit Scores. A percentage reduction for sites with an existing conservation obligation is based on the original BBAM percentage reduction.

Species credits (flora assessed by area)

OEH will determine the number and type of Biodiversity Offsets Scheme species credits that are reasonably equivalent by applying the BAM as per BAM equation 5 to the approved area of each vegetation zone or part vegetation zone. Vegetation integrity gain is calculated based on BBAM site value score, averted loss and Security Benefit Scores. A percentage reduction for sites with an existing conservation obligation is based on the original BBAM percentage reduction.

Species credits (flora assessed by count)

OEH will determine the number and type of Biodiversity Offsets Scheme species credits (flora) that are reasonably equivalent by applying the BAM as per BAM equation 6 using the count derived from the BAR applied to the BAM intrinsic rate of increase.

Dual credit species

For some dual credit species, an important habitat area map is used to determine where species credits can be created. OEH will determine whether the species credit is maintained by assessment against an important habitat area map. Credits that fall within the mapped area will be considered using the methods identified for species credits. Species credits created at biobank sites that are not within the mapped area will be considered as reasonably equivalent species credits. In this regard, these credits will be considered as part of any reasonably equivalent ecosystem credits created at the site.

Other dual credit species that have been created at a biobank site for species that use habitat features such as tree hollows or caves for breeding will be considered as reasonably equivalent species credits.

Receiving a statement of reasonable credit equivalence – existing BioBanking credits

There are a few things you need to know about receiving and using your statement of reasonable credit equivalence for existing BioBanking credits.

Understanding equivalent classes

Once you receive your equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credit class you may notice that both the number and the attributes of the credits have changed. The assessment of equivalence is made on an ecological basis.

Your original BioBanking credit class may have had the following information:

Number of ecosystem credits10
Plant Community Type Swamp mahogany swamp forest of the coastal lowlands of the North Coast (NR 254)
IBRA subregion Murwillumbah (Qld – South East Hills and Ranges) and any Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) subregion that adjoins the IBRA subregion in which the development occurs

The equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credit class may either look like the following:

Number of ecosystem credits10
Plant community type Swamp Mahogany swamp forest on coastal lowlands of the NSW North Coast Bioregion and northern Sydney Basin Bioregion (PCT 1230/NR 254)
Offset trading group Swamp Sclerophyll forest on coastal floodplains – greater than or equal to 50% cleared and less than 70% cleared
Hollow bearing trees Vegetation containing hollow bearing trees
Vegetation class Coastal Swamp Forest
Vegetation formation Forested Wetlands
IBRA subregion Burringbar Conondale Ranges and any IBRA subregion that adjoins the IBRA subregion within which the development occurs and any such subregion that is within 100 kilometres of the outer edge of the impact site.

Or there may be more than one equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credit class, such as:

Number of ecosystem credits5 Number of ecosystem credits5
Plant community type Swamp Mahogany swamp forest on coastal lowlands of the NSW North Coast Bioregion and northern Sydney Basin Bioregion (PCT 1230/NR 254)   Plant community type Swamp Mahogany swamp forest on coastal lowlands of the NSW North Coast Bioregion and northern Sydney Basin Bioregion (PCT 1230/NR 254)
Offset trading group Swamp Sclerophyll forest on coastal floodplains – greater than or equal to 90% cleared   Offset trading group Swamp Sclerophyll forest on coastal floodplains – greater than or equal to 50% cleared and less than 70% cleared
Hollow bearing trees n/a   Hollow bearing trees Vegetation containing hollow bearing trees
Vegetation class Coastal Swamp Forest   Vegetation class Coastal Swamp Forest
Vegetation formation Forested Wetlands   Vegetation formation Forested Wetlands
IBRA subregion Burringbar Conondale Ranges and any IBRA subregion that adjoins the IBRA subregion within which the development occurs and any such subregion that is within 100 kilometres of the outer edge of the impact site.   IBRA subregion Burringbar Conondale Ranges and any IBRA subregion that adjoins the IBRA subregion within which the development occurs and any such subregion that is within 100 kilometres of the outer edge of the impact site.

Potential purchasers of your Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits will need to see the information on the equivalent classes to understand whether your equivalent classes match their requirements.

Your credit ownership report

You will be issued with a new credit ownership report. This will restate the credits that you own in terms of both the original BioBanking credits calculated and the equivalent new Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits. Your BioBanking credits were calculated under the BioBanking Assessment Method or BBAM. Your equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits are equivalent to credits calculated under the Biodiversity Assessment Method or BAM.

You may use this information to transfer or retire either BioBanking or equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits. You will be required to supply a copy to anyone you are transferring credits to or to OEH when you wish to retire credits.

Your credit transactions will still be shown on the BioBanking public registers.

Transferring and retiring existing BioBanking credits once reasonable equivalence has been assessed and you have been issued with a new credit ownership report

You will still be able to conduct transactions in BioBanking credits and these transactions will be shown on the BioBanking public registers. The transactions will be shown as a reduction in the BioBanking credit type even if you have transferred credits of an equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme class to a new owner.

If as a result of the assessment you now have more than one equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme class - OEH will manage your transactions as follows:

For transfers of BioBanking credits

OEH will transfer the correct proportion of all equivalent Biodiversity Offsets credit classes to the new owner. OEH will provide the new owner and yourself with an updated credit ownership report showing the balance of both BioBanking credits and equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits. The BioBanking public register will show a reduction in BioBanking credits for the seller, and an increase in BioBanking credits for the buyer.

For transfers where the purchase is for Biodiversity Offsets Scheme equivalent classes

OEH will transfer the correct number of equivalent class Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits to the new owner. OEH will provide the new owner and yourself with an updated credit ownership report showing the balance of both BioBanking credits and equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits. The BioBanking public registers will only show a reduction in BioBanking credits.

Potential buyers of your equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credit class identify matching plant community types and approach you for information on the equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme classes you own. OEH plans to release additional information to support this process. As this is a transitional arrangement and the number of these equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits is expected to diminish this process is not anticipated to be required for an extended period.

If you are proposing to sell equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits to a purchaser or if you are retiring Biodiversity Offsets Scheme equivalent credits (specifically) you will need to show the potential purchaser that you own the appropriate equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits. You will need to attach a copy of the credit ownership report to any application to transfer or retire equivalent Biodiversity Offsets Scheme credits.

They can check this statement with OEH if required to verify its authenticity.

Page last updated: 19 March 2019