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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of plants and animals in the natural environment around us and can be thought of in terms of genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. Biodiversity includes all the different plants (from lichen and mosses to shrubs and trees), animals (invertebrates, frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals) and micro-organisms such as bacteria.


Australia is home to between 600,000 and 700,000 species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. About 84 per cent of plants, 83 per cent of mammals, and 45 per cent of birds are only found in Australia.


How do we protect biodiversity?

Protecting biodiversity in NSW while also providing for homes, roads and infrastructure requires strategic planning and innovative conservation measures.


The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 that commenced on 25 August 2017 establishes a framework to avoid, minimise and offset impacts on biodiversity. The Department has a statutory responsibility to ensure a balanced approach to land management, sustainable development and biodiversity conservation in NSW.

Page last updated: 22/07/2020