The Biodiversity Conservation Act gives the Minister for Energy and Environment the power to declare Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value. The purpose of declaring Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value is to identify, highlight and effectively manage sites that make significant contributions to the persistence of biodiversity in New South Wales, Australia and globally. Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value are a priority for private land conservation investment under the Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy.
The value of Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value for conservation, compared with other measures, is in their flexibility. For example, they can be identified across a range of geographic and geological features and have no size requirements. This means that they can be applied to sites as small as cave systems, hot springs or boulder outcrops, and larger landscapes, such as wetlands, grasslands or forests. They can also be targeted across a range of scales, locations or themes and be declared on public or privately-owned land.
The relevant legislative provisions for Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value are Part 3, Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Part 3, Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017.