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posted 4 Dec 2011, 16:03 by Eco Hub   [ updated 11 Dec 2011, 00:09 ]
The New South Wales (NSW) Government has introduced the Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme (or 'BioBanking') to help address the loss of biodiversity values, including threatened species. BioBanking is a market-based scheme that provides a streamlined biodiversity assessment process for development, a rigorous and credible offsetting scheme as well as an opportunity for rural landowners to generate income by managing land for conservation.

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 and clearing for agriculture, and more recently from the clearing of native vegetation for urban development. BioBanking enables 'biodiversity credits' to be generated by landowners who commit to enhance and protect biodiversity values on their land through a biobanking agreement. These credits can then be sold, generating funds for the management of the site. Credits can be used to counterbalance (or offset) the impacts on biodiversity values that are likely to occur as a result of development. The credits can also be sold to those seeking to invest in conservation outcomes, including philanthropic organisations and government. For more info visit: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/biobanking/ or http://www.biobank.com/