Partnering in Private Land Conservation

Landcare NSW is working in partnership with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) to raise awareness and support private land conservation efforts across the state.

Landcare NSW and the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) want to work together to raise awareness and support private land conservation efforts across the state. Landcare NSW and the BCT have a lot in common. The BCT recognises that local Landcare groups have been mobilising communities and taking action on a range of issues for decades now, biodiversity conservation being one of them. Which is why the BCT and Landcare NSW want to work together to strengthen our efforts.

Key objectives of the project include:

1. Building understanding and capacity between the BCT and local Landcare groups to complement each other’s knowledge and skills and plan how to work together.

2. Building biodiversity conservation knowledge with landholders through communication and education initiatives. This will be delivered through grant funding to eligible groups who wish to participate.

3. Increase the participation of landholders in private land conservation programs.

Commencing from 1 July 2020, Landcare groups will have the opportunity to be funded to participate in regional planning workshop/s to build their understanding of the BCT’s programs and begin a formal two-way partnership. We want to complement each other’s knowledge and skills and plan how to work together. From the planning workshops, grant funding will be available to eligible groups to deliver mutually agreed activities. Examples may include:

1. Events, workshops and field days to raise awareness of, and support landholders in biodiversity conservation

2. Activities to champion and support existing Private Land Conservation agreement holders.

How does Private Land Conservation work in NSW?

The BCT is a statutory not-for-profit body established under Part 10 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 which began operating on 25 August 2017.

The role of the BCT is to promote and support private landholders in conserving and managing biodiversity on their land. BCT does this through agreements, funding and grants:

  • Conservation Management Program

    If a landholder’s property is in a high priority area, they can apply for a funded conservation agreement by participating in the fixed price offer or conservation tenders. Landholders identify an area on their land to be actively managed for conservation and receive annual conservation management payments for agreed management activities.

  • Conservation Partners Program

    Landholders can enter into voluntary agreements with the BCT. Landholders identify an area on their land to be conserved for biodiversity conservation and can apply for grants to undertake conservation management activities.

  • Biodiversity Offsets Program

    Landholders wishing to generate and sell biodiversity credits can enter into a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement with the BCT. Landholders receive annual payments for carrying out conservation management actions on the site. Landholders may sell their biodiversity credits to developers, the BCT (which secures offsets on behalf of developers who choose to pay into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund) or to any other third party.

The partnership between Landcare NSW and the BCT will assist Landcare groups across the state to better understand these agreements and work with our partners in the BCT. See here for a video on the importance of BCT’s work. For any more information on Private Land Conservation can be found on BCT’s website: www.bct.nsw.gov.au. To learn more about the project, contact Landcare NSW or your local BCT staff member.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Biodiversity Conservation Trust?

The Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is a NSW Government statutory body that sits under the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The BCT enters into agreements with landholders to protect areas of their land for conservation as well as support conservation in the form of technical support and, in some cases, annual or grant funding. We also have a role in supporting the offsets scheme. See here for a video describing BCT’s work and to find out more about the BCT visit https://www.bct.nsw.gov.au/

2. What is Private Land Conservation?

Private land conservation occurs where a private landholder manages some or all of their land for biodiversity, nature or wildlife conservation purposes. In NSW, a landholder can enter into a private land conservation agreement, which forms part of the National Reserve System.  Depending on the type of agreement and type of land they can access funding and resources from the government (specifically the BCT) and non-government organisations for different types of management activities.

3. What are the objectives of this partnership?

Landcare NSW and the BCT will be partnering to raise awareness and support private land conservation efforts across NSW. This partnership aims to support collaboration between BCT regional staff and local Landcare groups across the state. Landcare NSW and the BCT have a lot in common. The BCT recognises that Landcare has been mobilising locals and taking action on a range of issues for decades now, with their significant skill, expertise, and local knowledge.

There are three project objectives:

  • Building understanding and capacity between the BCT and local Landcare groups to complement each other’s knowledge and skills and plan how to work together.
  • Building biodiversity conservation knowledge with landholders through communication and education initiatives. This will be delivered through grant funding to eligible groups who wish to participate.
  • Increase the participation of landholders in private land conservation programs.

4. What will Regional Landcare and Local Landcare Coordinators be doing?

Commencing July 1 2020, Landcare groups will be funded to participate in planning workshop/s to build their understanding of the BCT’s programs and begin a new formal two-way partnership with regional BCT staff. We want to complement each other’s knowledge and skills and plan how to work together. From the planning workshops, mutually agreed activities and ideas will be developed, and grant funding will be available to eligible groups to deliver these activities. Examples may include:

  1. Events, workshops and field days to raise awareness of, and support landholders in biodiversity conservation
  2. Activities to champion and support existing Private Land Conservation agreement holders

 

To initiate the project regional workshops will be held involving staff and key stakeholders from Landcare and the BCT. Some funds are available for Landcare staff to organise and participate in these workshops. The aim of the workshops is to ‘build understanding’ between Landcare and the BCT. Additional workshop funding is available in 2021 and 2022 to review progress and fill gaps in understanding.

Some Landcare groups may also be to undertake targeted activities to assist the BCT to ‘increase participation’ in private land conservation. The BCT will provide training to staff involved in this work.

5. How can Landcare groups get involved?

The first step in this project is participating in the planning workshop/s in late 2020. Details of these workshops will be coming soon. Due to COVID-19, we may have to wait to physically get together and some of the content may be delivered online.

From these planning workshops in 2020, we will be able to develop the next phase of the project. This phase will be focused on a ‘building knowledge’ goal, which seeks to raise public awareness about the importance of biodiversity and biodiversity conservation on private land. Eligible Landcare groups can deliver or participate in education and communication activities that support this goal.

Funds will be available in 2021 and 2022 for eligible Landcare groups to deliver targeted education and communication projects. Project expressions of interest (EOI) will be called for once themes/ target areas have been identified through the planning process in 2020. EOI’s can be developed in collaboration with your Regional or Local Landcare Coordinator. EOIs will then be chosen by a joint team from Landcare NSW and the BCT and funding will be provided based on advice from regional staff.

If successful, the terms and conditions of the partnership will be negotiated, and a contract will be put in place between Landcare NSW and the host Landcare Group. Once a contract is in place, regional staff will act as a BCT contact for the duration of the partnership.

6. Who can Landcare groups contact for more information?

The primary contact for the BCT Partnering in Private Land Conservation Project is Thalie Partridge from Landcare NSW through her email: tpartridge@landcarensw.org.au

As the project progresses, Regional Landcare Coordinators will be able to provide region-specific advice and assist in the development of project EOIs. Landcare groups can also always contact their regional BCT staff members.