The conservation of our endangered animals, plants and ecosystems is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing Australia today. The key reason for the historically high extinction rate of these animals, plants and ecosystems is habitat degradation and loss; initially from over-grazing, clearing for agriculture and more recently from the clearing of native vegetation for urban development.
The NSW government has introduced the Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme (or 'BioBanking') to help address the loss of biodiversity values, including threatened species.
Biodiversity offsets are measures that benefit biodiversity by compensating for the adverse impacts elsewhere of an action, such as clearing for development. Biodiversity offsets help achieve long-term conservation outcomes where development and infrastructure projects are likely to impact biodiversity.
Biodiversity offsets work by protecting and managing biodiversity values in one area in exchange for impacts on biodiversity values in another. For example, if a development requires an area of native woodland to be cleared, another area of similar woodland can be protected. Meaning improved conservation and management in perpetuity, effectively ‘offsetting’ the clearing at the development site. The gain in biodiversity achieved by improving a similar area of woodland balances the loss to biodiversity due to the clearing.
Council currently has the following Biodiversity Credits for sale:
- Giant Stinging Tree - Sandpaper Fig dry subtropical rainforest at Mt Yengo (HU759) - 25 credits available
- Tallowwood-Small fruited Grey Gum - Kangaroo Grass grassy tall open forest on foothills of the Lower North Coast (HU762) - 219 credits available
- Spotted Gum-Broad Leaved Mahogany-Red Ironbark shrubby open forest (HU804) - 591 credits available
- Smooth Barked Apple-Red Bloodwood-Brown Stringybark-Hairpin Banksia heathy open forest of coastal lowlands (HU833) - 279 credits available
- Mangrove Forests in estuaries of the Sydney Basin Bioregion and South East Corner Bioregion (HU563) - 375 credits available
- Saltmarsh in estuaries of the Sydney Basin Bioregion and South East Corner Bioregion (HU606) - 43 credits available