Biobanking Agreement

And with more than 60 expressions of interest in new biobank sites currently submitted to the Office of Environment & Heritage (about 33,000 hectares of land in NSW), commercial interest in the programme seems to be flourishing. The biobank system is a market-based system for the creation, trade and retirement of biodiversity credits. The system is described in Part 7A of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, the Biobanking Regulation 2008, and the Biobanking Assessment Methodology is one of the key documents underlying the program. A biobank agreement may include a number of conditions, including the obligation for the owner to implement certain management measures in rural areas, the limitation of the use of the biobank site and the provision of credits for biodiversity. Not all land can be subject to it and not all landowners can enter into a biobanking agreement. The Biobanking Regulation establishes specific criteria for areas that cannot be designated as a biobanking site. The Minister must also verify whether a person is an appropriate person to take and fulfill the obligations arising from a biobank contract before entering into. A developer receives a biobank declaration by contacting the Director General of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Water. A biobank declaration may be made if the Director-General finds, on the basis of an assessment of developments carried out according to the biobanking assessment method (including the number and class of biodiversity credits to be withdrawn as compensation for the negative effects of the change on biodiversity values), that development will improve or maintain biodiversity values. The future of the biobank will depend on the revision of the system by the OEH. It will be interesting to see what the results of the OEH revision of submissions will be and what changes will be made if any. Given that the biobank system is still in its infancy, there is no example of how the Office of Environment & Heritage Biobanking applied biobank agreements for which the BioBanking account concerned had a low balance. The biobank program in NSW began in July 2008.