The term 'biodiversity' can be used to describe the variety of life on Earth, from the genetic diversity of individual organisms to the different types of ecosystems that make up the planet. In Australia, there are many different ecosystems that make up our biodiversity, including rainforests, wetlands, coral reefs and grasslands, which are threatened by a number of factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation, bushfire, land clearing, climate change and invasive species.
There are about 45,000 species in Australia, including more than 1,500 mammals, 8,000 plants and 400 reptiles.
The Australian government has a number of policies and programs in place to protect biodiversity, including the National Environmental Policy Framework, the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and the Threatened Species Strategy.
A threatened species is one that is at risk of becoming extinct in the wild. The Australian government uses a classification system to identify threatened species and assess their level of risk.
There are many things you can do to help protect biodiversity, such as reducing your consumption of resources, supporting local wildlife conservation initiatives and choosing environmentally friendly products.
An ecosystem is a community of living things and their environment. Ecosystems can be small (e.g. a pond) or large (e.g. a rainforest), and can be found on land, in water or in the air.
A BSA is a voluntary agreement between a landowner and an approved biodiversity credit provider. The agreement outlines the landowner's commitment to protecting and enhancing biodiversity on their property in exchange for credits that can be used to offset unavoidable impacts on biodiversity from development and clearing. This agreement specifies the management actions you need to undertake to protect and improve the site's biodiversity value, the number of biodiversity credits and their class, the reporting required annually demonstrating compliance, the Biodiversity Stewardship Payment Fund deposit requirement, as well as the annual schedule of payments and conditions in order to receive payment from the fund.
A biodiversity credit is a unit of measurement for offsets in the Australian Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (ABOS). ABOS offsets are used to measure both the unavoidable impacts on biodiversity from development and clearing at a development site and the benefits of restoring or protecting biodiversity elsewhere. One biodiversity credit is equivalent to one hectare of compensatory land.
There are a few different types of biodiversity credits in Australia, including:
- Species credits: These represent the expected improvement in the population size or condition of a threatened species that will result from the protection and management of your site. Species credits are awarded for the protection and management of threatened species.
- Habitat credits: These represent the expected improvement in the quality or quantity of habitats that will result from the protection and management of your site.
- Ecosystem credits: These represent the expected improvement in the overall health and function of an ecosystem that will result from the protection and management of your site. Ecosystem credits are awarded for the protection and management of ecosystems.
- Indigenous Knowledge Credits: These credits recognize the traditional ecological knowledge and land management practices of Indigenous Peoples. These credits can be used to offset negative impacts on biodiversity or to promote the restoration and conservation of Indigenous lands and cultural heritage.
- Genetic Credits: These are awarded for the protection and management of genetic resources.
Natural Capital Co have a simple and transparent approach to running Biodiversity Projects. Our Biodiversity Projects consist of 8 phases:
Phase 1A – Concept & Design
Phase 2A – Contracts and Administration
Phase 4 Ongoing Compliance & Maintenance
There are many benefits to doing a biodiversity project. Some of these benefits include securing ongoing funding for management actions to improve the site’s biodiversity values into the future, permanently protecting native biodiversity that is under threat, making a potential profit from the proceeds of selling biodiversity credits, and being exempt from paying land tax on the proportion of land designated as a biodiversity stewardship site. Additionally, landowners can enjoy the biodiversity on their land by engaging in recreational activities such as bird-watching and bush walking.
Natural Capital Co take an all-farm approach to Natural Capital, ESG and Biodiversity projects so we can manage all your farm requirements in one place.
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