The BCT is a statutory not-for-profit body, established under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 on 25 August 2017.
Its purpose is to deliver a comprehensive private land conservation program that supports landholders, farmers and other organisations to protect and manage areas of high environmental value on private land.
The BCT will initially continue the private land conservation functions of the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Nature Conservation Trust. It also has a role to seek strategic biodiversity offsets where developers pay the Trust to meet their biodiversity offset obligations.
Proponents can choose to satisfy offset obligations in their development consent conditions by paying money into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund managed by the BCT. This may be a faster and more certain way for many proponents to meet their obligations.
Proponents still have the option to source biodiversity offsets themselves or to use the services of a third party broker.
Once a payment is made into the fund, the BCT becomes responsible for finding the offsets needed. The BCT must satisfy these offset obligations consistent with the rules of the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.
The BCT is able to pool offset obligations and funds and could establish larger and more viable offset sites and also works with landholders to establish biodiversity stewardship agreements on their land. By working with landholders to establish stewardship sites and create biodiversity credits, the BCT will be able to stimulate supply in the market.
BCT private land conservation programs are underpinned by government investment of $240 million over 5 years, with $70 million in ongoing annual funding thereafter, subject to performance reviews. This investment will be guided by the Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy 2018, which sets the government’s private land conservation priorities.
A set of short- and long-term targets (5 and 20 years respectively) has been developed to help measure progress in meeting the strategy's environmental and socioeconomic objectives.
Read more about the Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy.
Existing conservation agreements
If you have an existing agreement, including conservation agreements under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, trust agreements under the Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001 and BioBanking agreements under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, these agreements will be carried over and remain in place and will be managed by the BCT. This means that any properties protected under a permanent conservation agreement will continue to be protected in perpetuity.
For more information about BCT programs, agreements and governance visit the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust website.