Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits Fund
Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits (NCBs) are defined in the Barrow Island Act 2003 as “demonstrable and sustainable additions to or improvements in biodiversity conservation values of Western Australia targeting, where possible, the biodiversity conservation values affected or occurring in similar bioregions to Barrow Island”.
Under its Agreement Act the Gorgon Joint Venture deposits funds into a Parks and Wildlife special purpose account, with annual contributions indexed from 1 January 2004.
Expenditure from the GBI-NCB Fund is subject to a number of requirements agreed to by the Minister for State Development, the Minister for Environment and the Gorgon Joint Venture.
The Advisory Board is responsible for assessing proposed GBI-NCB projects and advising the Minister for Environment, who makes the final decision on whether or not a particular project should be funded.
The Advisory Board is also responsible to the Minister for monitoring the implementation and progress of funded projects.
The Advisory Board held a workshop on 1 December 2010, which was attended by representatives of environmental non-government organisations, universities, and relevant government bodies, including the Department of Parks and Wildlife (then the Department of Environment and Conservation), WA Museum, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and Perth Zoo.
Workshop participants discussed methods of generating projects for the Board to consider and key focus areas for projects, and refined the project assessment criteria.
Using the feedback from the workshop, the Advisory Board finalised project selection processes, assessment criteria and a schedule for advertising and assessing projects, to be recommended to the Minister for Environment.
The Board uses a two-stage processes to assess and select projects for NCB funding. The first stage involves seeking expressions of interest for potential projects. After assessing the initial expressions of interest the Board requests more detailed proposals on a selected number of potential projects.
The Board advertised for the first round of funding on 16 March 2011 and received 23 project proposals. Four projects were recommended to the Minister for environment and the first round of successful projects were approved by the Minister in February 2012.
A second round of funding was advertised on 14 October 2015 and the project assessment process is underway.
Current NCB Projects
Four projects are currently operating with substantial funding from the GBI-NCB Fund.
- Dirk Hartog Island National Park Ecological Restoration Project (Department of Parks and Wildlife).
- Conservation Systematics of the Western Pilbara Fauna (Western Australian Museum).
- Pilbara Marine Conservation Project (CSIRO and The University of Western Australia).
- Decision Support System for Prioritising and Implementing Biosecurity on Western Australia’s Islands (James Cook University and the Department of Parks and Wildlife).