The Nature Conservation Covenant Program (NCCP) maintains a network of regional covenant representatives skilled in nature conservation and covenants to provide individual assessment of bushland, and ongoing management advice.

The two main components to a nature conservation covenant are the covenant and the stewardship.

The covenant

  • is a legally binding document, and is registered on the Certificate of Title of the property
  • is restrictive in nature – the covenant document states what activities will not occur on the covenanted land in order to protect the conservation values
  • is normally permanent to offer protection of the covenanted land in perpetuity
  • is voluntary
  • is flexible—the covenant document is designed to suit both the conservation values of the land and the landowner
  • can be modified if the nature conservation values of the covenanted land are not compromised.

The stewardship

To provide ongoing stewardship of the land, the department provides assistance to each landowner by drawing up a set of management guidelines which sets out mutually agreed management strategies in order to protect the bushland. These guidelines are not legally binding, and are not registered on the Certificate of Title of the property. They are a practical document developed with the landowner, detailing the future management of the bushland and take into account:

  • the nature conservation values of the site
  • past management activities on the site
  • current threats to the nature conservation values of the site
  • practical options for managing the identified threats
  • monitoring and evaluation of activities.

The management guidelines are intended to be a living document. The bushland is revisited at least every three years with the landowner (or if the property changes ownership) and the guidelines updated to reflect any changes necessary. This helps to maintain contact with the landowner and provide a source of support for management of the conservation values of the land.
Once the covenant is on title, landowners also become part of the stewardship program, which offers annual contact and visits every three years. Funding for emergency management may also be available on a case by case basis.