What is a conservation covenant?
A conservation covenant is a permanent legal agreement placed on a landholder’s Certificate of Title to ensure long-term conservation and protection of native remnant vegetation and habitats. The covenant runs with the land in perpetuity.
Conservation covenants are between the National Trust and private landholders under Section 21A of the National Trust of Australia (WA) Act 1964. They are a condition for approval to subdivide or develop land or are entered into voluntarily.
Benefits of a conservation covenant include:
- protecting significant habitats
- stewardship support for landholders and education, regional networking, information sharing and incentives
- knowing that the National Trust will advocate for the land and provide stewardship beyond the current ownership
- a Bushland Management Plan and Deed developed by Natural Heritage Officers to assist with ongoing management advice
- potential tax incentives and reduction in land rates
- complementing the Australian Government’s National Reserve System through the protection of adjacent and nearby land.
Does your land have remnant vegetation with conservation values that can be maintained in the long term? If so, you can submit an expression of interest to the National Trust Covenant Program.
The National Trust will carry out a desktop assessment, searching databases for any threatened or priority flora, fauna and ecological communities in the vicinity of the property. Other conservation values are also considered, and staff will liaise with the landholder to undertake a site visit to assess:
- the presence of vegetation types that have been extensively cleared elsewhere or are considered under-protected within the existing National Reserve System
- areas of remnant vegetation in good condition or better
- corridors for wildlife movement and proximity to reserves and other covenants
- land subject to erosion if cleared
- land that minimises the risk of salinity
- areas with significant historical, aesthetic, social, cultural or spiritual values.
Following this assessment and discussion with the landholder, an officer will send a cost estimate and arrange another site visit. A Restrictive Covenant and Deed will be discussed and sent to the landholder for consideration and feedback.
Once the landholder is satisfied with the details, the documents are signed and lodged with Landgate. Landgate then registers the Restrictive Covenant in perpetuity on the Certificate of Title of the property.
An officer will finalise the Bushland Management Plan for the property once the covenant is registered.
For more information, please contact us.