A NSW Government website

Stewardship Support Program

The Stewardship Support Program provides landholders an easy pathway to apply for a biodiversity stewardship agreement.


Stewardship Support Program status

The Stewardship Support Program is currently closed to new applications. Applications received between 29 February and 15 May 2024 are now being assessed.

More information on the program and future program dates is available below.

Get paid for environmental benefits

Are you interested in managing your land in ways that benefit native plants and animals? Increasing bird life, plant diversity and habitat, and ecosystem services such as pollination, soil health and water quality? Do you have land that might be suitable?

Entering into a biodiversity stewardship agreement (BSA) generates biodiversity credits you can sell through the NSW biodiversity market to fund the management of weeds, pests, fire, and ecological restoration.

Credit sales can fund a future-proofing strategy for you and your family and provide for ongoing management of your property.

About the NSW biodiversity market

The NSW biodiversity market brings together buyers and sellers of biodiversity credits. The demand for biodiversity credits is expanding rapidly due to the need for more regional housing, renewable energy and other economic development. These projects need to find the right types of biodiversity credits to balance their impact.

The NSW Government is committed to supporting the functioning of the NSW biodiversity market, and encouraging the creation of biodiversity credits to meet current and future demand.

Stewardship Support Program

The Stewardship Support Program helps eligible landholders create biodiversity credits by supporting them in entering into biodiversity stewardship agreements. If you are eligible and able to create in-demand biodiversity credits, you may receive biodiversity assessments and other support at no cost.

The focus of the first round was for in-demand species credits. Applications received between 29 February and 15 May 2024 are now being assessed for eligibility and feasibility, based on the site's area and potential to create in-demand credits.

Landholders who have submitted applications through the program will be notified of the outcomes and next steps by 15 August 2024.

Stewardship Expression of Interest program

The Stewardship Expression of Interest (EOI) program closed for new EOIs in October 2023 and has now been replaced by the Stewardship Support Program.

The response to the Stewardship EOI program shows that many landholders are interested in establishing a biodiversity stewardship agreement as a way to restore habitat and ecosystems. The program resulted in 165 sites undergoing initial field assessment and full biodiversity assessment on more than 50 properties (covering nearly 30,000 hectares).

We are continuing to support these landholders to finalise applications to establish biodiversity stewardship agreements. Some landholders have already found buyers for their credits, which will fund the management of weeds, pests and ecological restoration.

Frequently asked questions

What support will the Biodiversity Credits Supply Taskforce provide to landholders?

The government is making it easier and faster for landholders to enter into a biodiversity stewardship agreement (BSA), including by:

  • helping to identify whether landholders have in-demand biodiversity credits in their region
  • assisting in preparing documentation and biodiversity assessment
  • streamlining the process to enter into a biodiversity stewardship agreement
  • identifying opportunities to sell biodiversity credits through the Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund.

Responsibility for biodiversity stewardship agreements is moving from the Biodiversity Conservation Trust to the Taskforce.

How much will it cost to apply through the Stewardship Support Program, and do I need to commit to a biodiversity stewardship agreement?

There is no cost, and it does not create any obligation or require you to proceed with a biodiversity stewardship agreement.

If you enter into a biodiversity stewardship agreement, it is registered on the land title. We can provide you with a biodiversity stewardship agreement example to help you get a feel for what is involved.

How will information provided in an application be used?

We will use the information you provide to check if you have in-demand credits, prioritise applications for sites with the most potential to generate in-demand credits and begin discussions with you as the landholder on a potential biodiversity stewardship agreement. See also our privacy statement.

Can the Taskforce help cover the costs involved in setting up a biodiversity stewardship agreement?

If you have in-demand credits, the Taskforce may offer a biodiversity assessment from an accredited assessor and help prepare a biodiversity stewardship agreement and management plan. More information on this will be offered to you if your application through the Stewardship Support Program is accepted.

Will a biodiversity stewardship agreement affect the other agricultural/economic activities occurring on my land?

A biodiversity stewardship agreement only applies to the areas of your land you want to include. Some sustainable grazing, apiary, and other low impact activities may be included as part of the biodiversity stewardship agreement management plan. You can continue to carry out agriculture and other economic activities on areas not covered by the biodiversity stewardship agreement.

How much money can I make from a biodiversity stewardship agreement?

A single biodiversity credit can be worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands. In selling credits, some money is held in the Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund and then paid to you each year for land management. This amount depends on the property's size and the condition and amount of restoration you include in the biodiversity stewardship agreement management plan.

What about carbon farming?

Commonwealth regulations specify where carbon credits can be created, and there may be constraints in setting up a biodiversity stewardship agreement over the same area as a carbon project. If you would like to consider a carbon project, please raise this with the Taskforce to find out the latest information.

Are small areas of land suitable for biodiversity stewardship agreements?

Generally, larger areas of land enable the landholder to generate the most biodiversity credits through a biodiversity stewardship agreement. Larger areas, or those adjoining other reserves or large areas of vegetation, can be easier to manage. Areas with existing native plant and animal habitats also need less intensive management.

Can I decide to who I sell my biodiversity credits?

Yes, you can decide who to sell credits to and for what price. The Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund provides a way for you to sell your credit, but you can also sell your credits independently or through another government tender process. The Biodiversity Credits Catalogue is a way to advertise the credits you have for sale and the public registers are also another way in which buyers can find you.

Contact us

Credits Supply Taskforce - Stewardship enquiries

Email: [email protected]