The Biodiversity Conservation Act gives the Minister for the Environment the power to declare Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value (AOBVs). The purpose of declaring AOBVs is to identify, highlight and effectively manage sites that make significant contributions to the persistence of biodiversity in New South Wales, Australia and globally. AOBVs are a priority for investment in private land conservation under the Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy.
Areas of declared critical habitat under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, including Little Penguin and Wollemi Pine declared areas, have become the first AOBVs in New South Wales with the commencement of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. The Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 establishes the criteria for declaring AOBVs. The criteria have been designed to identify the most valuable sites for biodiversity conservation in New South Wales.