Stewardship Expression of Interest

The Stewardship Expression of Interest program provides landholders an easy pathway to apply for a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement.

Get paid for environmental benefits

Are you interested in managing your land in ways that benefit native plants and animals? Increasing bird life, plant diversity and habitat, and ecosystem services such as pollination, soil health and water quality? Do you have land that might be suitable?

Entering into a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (BSA) generates biodiversity credits you can sell through the NSW biodiversity market to fund the management of weeds, pests and fire and ecological restoration.

Credit sales can fund a future-proofing strategy for you and your family and provide for ongoing management of your property.

About the NSW biodiversity market

The NSW biodiversity market brings together buyers and sellers of biodiversity credits. The demand for biodiversity credits is expanding rapidly due to the need for more regional housing, renewable energy and other economic development. These projects need to find the right types of biodiversity credits to balance their impact.

The NSW Government is strongly committed to supporting stability and growth in this market. A new $106 million Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund has also been created to provide opportunities to partner with landholders to create and sell biodiversity credits.

Stewardship Expressions of Interest reopen February 2024

The Credits Supply Taskforce has received significant interest from landholders across New South Wales who are interested in setting up Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements. A number of these landholders are establishing agreements.

The Stewardship Expression of Interest (EOI) program will close for new Stewardship Expression of Interests from 6 October 2023, and reopen in February 2024.

The Taskforce is continuing to progress Stewardship Expression of Interests submitted before 6 October 2023. Landholders can continue to submit Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement applications during this time.

These changes have been necessary due to a very strong response from landholders, and to prioritise sites already progressing through the program.

Use the links below to access information and resources about applying for and establishing a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement.

The information you provide in this form will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected. By submitting, you consent to storage, use, and disclosure of your personal information in accordance with our privacy policy. You can request access and amendment of your personal information.

What support will the Biodiversity Credits Supply Taskforce provide to landholders?

The government is making it easier and faster for landholders to enter into a biodiversity stewardship agreement (BSA), including by:

  • helping to identify whether landholders have in-demand biodiversity credits in their region
  • assisting in preparing documentation and biodiversity assessment
  • streamlining the process to enter into a biodiversity stewardship agreement
  • identifying opportunities to sell biodiversity credits through the Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund.

Responsibility for biodiversity stewardship agreements is moving from the Biodiversity Conservation Trust to the Taskforce.

How much will it cost to put in an Expression of Interest, and do I need to commit to a biodiversity stewardship agreement?

There is no cost to put in an Expression of Interest, but it lets us know you are interested. The Expression of Interest does not create any obligation or require you to proceed

with a biodiversity stewardship agreement.

If you enter into a biodiversity stewardship agreement, it is registered on the land title. We can provide you with a biodiversity stewardship agreement example to help you get a feel for what's involved.

How will information provided in an Expression of Interest be used?

We will use the information you provide in the Expression of Interest to check if you have in-demand credits, prioritise effort and begin discussions with you as the landholder on a potential biodiversity stewardship agreement. See also our privacy statement.

Can the Taskforce help cover the costs involved in setting up a biodiversity stewardship agreement?

If you have in-demand credits, the Taskforce may offer to provide a biodiversity assessment from an accredited assessor and help prepare a biodiversity stewardship agreement and management plan. More information on this will be offered to you after your Expression of Interest has been reviewed.

Will a biodiversity stewardship agreement affect the other agricultural/economic activities occurring on my land?

A biodiversity stewardship agreement only applies to the areas of your land you want to include. Some sustainable grazing, apiary, and other low impact activities may be included as part of the biodiversity stewardship agreement management plan. You can continue to carry out agriculture and other economic activities on areas not covered by the biodiversity stewardship agreement.

How much money can I make from a biodiversity stewardship agreement?

A single biodiversity credit can be worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands in market sales. In selling credits, some money is held in the Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund and then paid to you each year for land management. This amount depends on the property's size and the condition and amount of restoration you include in the biodiversity stewardship agreement management plan.

What about carbon farming?

Commonwealth regulations specify where carbon credits can be created, and there may be constraints in setting up a biodiversity stewardship agreement over the same area as a carbon project. If you'd like to consider a carbon project, please raise this with the Taskforce to find out the latest information.

Are small areas of land suitable for biodiversity stewardship agreements?

Generally, larger areas of land enable the landholder to generate the most biodiversity credits through a biodiversity stewardship agreement. Larger areas, or those adjoining other reserves or large areas of vegetation, can be easier to manage. Areas with existing native plants and animals habitat also need less intensive management.

Will the government also profit from selling biodiversity credits generated from a biodiversity stewardship agreement over my land?

No, the Fund will generally on-sell biodiversity credits for the original purchase price, plus a mark up to cover costs. Selling the credits will enable the Fund to purchase more credits.

Can I decide to who I sell my biodiversity credits?

Yes, you can decide who to sell credits to and for what price. The Taskforce also operates the Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund to provide an easier way for you to sell your credits.