Native vegetation is vital for the health of our environment. It is intrinsic to our rural landscapes and regional communities, supports native animals and agriculture, and protects soils and water.
The Land Management and Biodiversity Conservation Framework provides a structure for managing the clearing of native vegetation in New South Wales. Legislation under this framework is administered by the Environment and Heritage Group within the Department of Planning and Environment, Local Land Services and the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust.
Clearing of native vegetation on rural land is legislated by the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act). This is administered by Local Land Services, with the Department of Planning and Environment (the Department) responsible for developing native vegetation regulatory mapping and compliance under the LLS Act.
Clearing of native vegetation in urban areas and land zoned for environmental protection is legislated by the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021 (formerly the State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017), administered by local councils. This legislation also allows councils to manage vegetation clearing in their local area through a permit system.
The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme provides a framework for offsetting the impacts of development on biodiversity.
Protecting and rehabilitating remnant vegetation can reverse the negative effects of clearing and habitat fragmentation. Revegetating and restoring native vegetation can improve the health of the land and rejuvenate ecosystems.
The Biodiversity Conservation Trust supports landholders to conserve native vegetation and biodiversity on private land. Visit the Biodiversity Conservation Trust website for more information.
We are responsible for compliance and enforcement of land management activities that involve native vegetation under the LLS Act. For more information, see our compliance and enforcement webpage.
Landcover change monitoring and reporting
We monitor and report on:
- clearing of woody and non woody vegetation, statewide and on land managed under the Local Land Services Act (Category 2 regulated land)
- long term trends of woody vegetation change across New South Wales
- fire extent and severity.
This work provides a scientific basis for measuring the environmental, social and economic impacts of landcover change on our natural resources and biodiversity.
For more information, go to Landcover science.