Project Description

Location: State of Victoria, Australia

Primary stakeholders: State government, private sector, individual landowners

Sector/industry: Infrastructure development

Primary extractive or damaging activities: Habitat loss due to land use change

Affected ecosystem(s) and biodiversity: All native vegetation, including trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses.

Goal: No net loss (NNL) to biodiversity [due to removal of native vegetation]

Metric(s): Habitat hectares (a metric combining area and vegetation condition), adjusted using an indicator of the site’s importance in the wider landscape

Mitigation & Conservation actions: The policy mandates that all applications to damage or remove native vegetation – whether by individual landowners or large commercial companies – submit a statement demonstrating that they have avoided (refrain) and minimised (reduce) damage to native vegetation as far as possible. Remaining negative impacts are offset through the state’s biodiversity credit’s mode. See four steps diagram below for details (in this instance, the policy only applies the mitigation pathway of the Mitigation & Conservation Hierarchy, since it aims to achieve NNL rather than net gain).

Stage of implementation and associated outcomes: Implementation stage – the most recent reform of Victoria’s native vegetation management policy was undertaken in 2017. As of summer 2019 15,336 hectares of native vegetation were protected under offset management.

Next steps and needs: Analysis of whether or not the policy has been successful at achieving its No Net Loss target accounting for both vegetation losses and gains.