New protections for high value conservation areas

The NSW Government has today announced the opening of nominations to identify and protect Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value (AOBVs) on both private and public lands across New South Wales.

Wollemi Pine, Wollemia nobilis

Environment Minister Matt Kean said these new legal instruments will fill a gap in conservation measures in New South Wales by preserving key landscapes that protect a broad range of our natural heritage.

“I want to leave our planet in a better state for future generations and this is another tool to ensure areas of irreplaceable biodiversity on private and public lands across New South Wales can be protected,” Mr Kean said.

“Local communities or private landholders can now conserve areas that would otherwise not be captured or recognised through any other legal instrument, such as in national parks.”

Once identified, AOBVs are an ‘automatic priority’ for investment by the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT), meaning landholders can access funds to manage the land for conservation.

Chair of the BCT, the Hon Niall Blair said AOBV’s will help improve conservation especially on private land.

“The BCT already has a number of mechanisms that provide private landholders across the state a financial incentive to conserve biodiversity on their own properties,” Mr Blair said.

“This new mechanism will help us capture areas and pockets of high value biodiversity that otherwise may have slipped through the net.”

Identified by rigorous scientific assessment, AOBVs are designed to conserve high value conservation sites, threatened species or critical habitats. This includes climate refugia, migratory pathways or areas with a high variety of biodiversity values.

AOBVs can only be declared with landholders’ consent, with nominated areas assessed against key scientific criteria set out in the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. Further info available: Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value.

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