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The topics in this theme describe the condition of our land and its ability to provide ecosystem services and suitable habitat for native species and ecosystems.

Protected Areas and Conservation

The public reserve system covers about 7.59 million hectares or 9.5% of land in NSW. Conservation on private land is also important in protecting the natural environment in NSW.

Collection of trees

Public conservation reserves

9.5% of NSW

is formally protected in public reserves

Soil Condition

While the majority of soils are in a moderate condition some parts of the State have suffered a greater decline in condition than others and display a significant loss in their ability to deliver e

Tree in soil profile graphic

Loss of soil organic carbon


of natural carbon stocks have been lost across NSW

Native Vegetation

Native vegetation covers 61% of NSW. At the time of publication, the latest reported statewide clearing rate of native vegetation was 14,700 ha/year (2014–2015).

Graphic of NSW with native vegetation

Native vegetation in NSW


of NSW still has native vegetation cover