Key Biodiversity Areas

Task Force Objective 2: To consolidate a standard for the identification of sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity.

Over the last three decades, various approaches to identifying sites of significance for biodiversity have been developed (see the resources page for more information). These approaches generally focus on one group of species or one biome, and use diverse assessment criteria, which has resulted in some confusion among decision-makers as well as duplication of efforts.

As a consequence, IUCN members requested IUCN to convene a worldwide consultative process to agree an overarching methodology to identify Key Biodiversity Areas.

GLOBAL CONSULTATION

The WCPA-SSC Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Area is leading this global consultation and has identified and mobilised key experts and organizations, including IUCN Commissions and members, academics, practitioners, resources managers, conservation organisations, national decision-makers, private and financial sectors to be involved in the process. 

This process includes:

2014 timeline for the KBA consultation process

Draft KBA standard and methodology
Technical review of KBA methodology
Revisions following technical review
Second review and e-consultation
Present KBA standard and methodology at World Parks Congress, Sydney, Australia

Stakeholders and end-users interviews

In addition to formal meetings, an end-user process is being conducted throughout 2012 and 2013. Selected user groups are being interviewed, wherever possible in person or by phone/Skype, and case studies drawn up that summarise user needs, types of products required, alignment with existing procedures, potential concerns, and implications for KBA development. A synthesis document summarising key implications for the KBA process will be developed, drawing from the case studies.

KBA stakeholders and end-users

  • Intergovernmental treaties
  • Intergovernmental agencies
  • Intergovernmental coalitions
  • Multi-lateral Development Banks
  • Donors
  • Multinational companies and industry associations
  • International conservation and development NGOs
  • Government: conservation agencies
  • Industry/industry associations (including national certification bodies)
  • Investors
  • Cultural/spiritual institutions
  • NGOs
  • Climate change
  • Ecosystem services
  • Restoration
  • Indigenous peoples

Technical workshops

Framing workshop

Framing Workshop

Framing Workshop

Photo: Framing Workshop

A major milestone of the consultation was the Framing workshop organised in Cambridge, UK, in June 2012: the participants agreed that the mission of this new standard is to identify sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity, for all levels of biodiversity (genetic, species, and ecosystem) and that is applicable in all regions to terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms. They also highlighted key questions for subsequent technical deliberation, on four high-level issues:

  • Criteria and delineation
  • Thresholds
  • Governance mechanisms of the process
  • Marine and freshwater issues

 The report of this workshop is available here.

Criteria and Delineation Workshop

Criteria and Delineation Workshop

Criteria and Delineation Workshop

Photo: Criteria and Delineation Workshop

During this workshop (held in Front Royal, near Washington, USA, in March 2013), draft KBA criteria were developed and recommendations for KBA delineation were agreed upon, which will be the starting point for the development of delineation guidelines for KBAs.The workshop also adressed addditional topic such as documentation of sites or viability, as they emerged from the discussions. 

The report of this workshop is available here.
 
Governance workshop

Governance Workshop (c) Mike Parr

The KBA Governance workshop (hosted by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment in Brasilia on 6-9 November 2013) discussed possible governance mechanisms of the new KBA standard, in particular the role of the different stakeholders and the relationships between national and global processes. Participants drafted a Terms of Reference for a new KBA Committee that would report to the chairs of WCPA and SSC. They also developed a process for nominating, reviewing and endorsing KBAs and procedures for incorporating additional data into existing KBAs. 

The report of the workshop is available here.

Following the Governance workshop held in Brasilia, a one-day meeting was organised in Cambridge, UK, on 21 Jan 2014, to address two issues that could not be resolved due to time constraints in Brasilia: the review and petition processes. The addedum to the Governance report related to this meeting is available here.

 

 Threshold workshop 

KBA Threshold Workshop (c) Silvia Perez-Espona

The KBA Thresholds workshop (organized by Sapienza University at the Fondazione BioParco in Rome, Italy, on 1-5 December 2013) proposed quantitative thresholds of biodiversity significance for the four criteria recommended at the Criteria and Delineation workshop, helping to determine how “key” a site needs to be for it to be considered a “Key Biodiversity Area and developped an additional criteria on sites identified through a comprehensive quantitative analysis of irreplaceability. Discussions were informed by a set of analyses presented by Moreno di Marco of Sapienza University that explored conditions under which sites identified through threshold approaches (specifically, Important Bird Areas) align to grid cells identified through comprehensively quantitative calculation of irreplaceability. The thresholds proposed at the workshop are currently being examined for their implications for existing KBAs and tendency to yield commission errors (identifying too many sites) or omission errors (missing really important places).

The report of the workshop is available here.

 

Regional consultation

In order to achieve a globally agreed standard, the IUCN has led a number of activities across the globe to build consensus, stakeholder buy-in and encourage collaborative work. 
 
Relevant stakeholders, within and beyond the conservation community, have participated actively in our events. Reports and lists of participants are available for all the regional workshops and can be found in the Appendices of the KBA Consultation Report 2012 which can be found here and on the resources page. 
 
A map of the location of the global consultation workshops to date can be found below as well as Table 2 highlighting the date, location and number of participants involved in the global consultation process. 
 


View KBA Global Map of Activities in a larger map

 Table 2. Date, location and participants of the global consultation. 

Global Consultation

Date

Event

Country

Participants

Dec 2011

International Congress for Conservation Biology

Auckland, New Zealand

36

Feb 2012

Species Survival Commission (SSC) Plants Sub-Committee

Abu Dhabi, UAE

15

Feb 2012

Species Survival Commission (SSC) Invertebrates Sub-Committee

Abu Dhabi, UAE

12

Feb 2012

Species Survival Commission (SSC) Chairs Meeting

Abu Dhabi, UAE

120

Apr 2012

Biodiversity without Boundaries

Portland, USA

20

Aug 2012

South Asia: Biodiversity Asia 2012 SCB Regional Congress

Bangalore, India

50

Aug 2012

European Congress for Conservation Biology

Glasgow, United Kingdom

30

Sept 2012

IUCN World Conservation Congress – End-users Workshop

Jeju, South Korea

50

Sept 2012

IUCN World Conservation Congress

Jeju, South Korea

20

Oct 2012

11th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP11)

Hyderabad, India

20

Dec 2012

Eastern and Southern Africa: BIOPAMA Regional Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa

53

Nov 2012

Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFI) Meeting - Working Group on Environment Sub-Group on Biodiversity

Washington, USA

--

Nov 2012

Biodiversity and Protected Areas conference, Zoological Society of London (Objectives 1 & 2)

London, UK

--

Dec 2012

Face-to-face end-user interviews with the World Bank and GEF, and subsequent phone interviews with IFC.

Washington, USA

--

Dec 2012

BioPama workshop, Johannesburg (Objectives 1 & 2)

Johannesburg, South Africa

--

Jan 2013

BIOPAMA Regional Workshop for the Caribbean Region (Objectives 1 & 2)

Bridgetown, Barbados

--

Feb 2013

BIOPAMA Regional Workshop the African Region (Objectives 1 & 2)

Dakar, Senegal

--

Feb 2013

BIOPAMA Regional Workshop for the Pacific

Suva, Fiji

15

Feb 2013

BIOPAMA Regional Workshop for Western and Central Africa

Dakar, Senegal

15

Feb 2013

IAIA Special Symposium on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Washington, USA

20

Apr 2013

Biodiversity without Boundaries

Baltimore, USA

35

Apr 2013

ConGRESS final meeting: consultation of conservation geneticists

Gregynog, United Kingdom

25

Jul 2013

International Congress for Conservation Biology

Baltimore, USA

 

 

 Resources related to Key Biodiversity Areas can be found here

Business & Biodiversity

Business & Biodiversity

Photo:

  • Framing Workshop

    Framing Workshop

    Photo: Framing Workshop

  • Biodiversity Asia 2012

    Biodiversity Asia 2012

    Photo: Biodiversity Asia 2012

  • Species Survival Commission - Chairs Meeting

    Species Survival Commission - Chairs Meeting

    Photo: Species Survival Commission - Chairs Meeting

  • BIOPAMA South Africa

    BIOPAMA South Africa

    Photo: BIOPAMA South Africa

  • World Conservation Congress - 2012 - Jeju

    World Conservation Congress - 2012 - Jeju

    Photo: World Conservation Congress - 2012 - Jeju

  • Framing Workshop

    Framing Workshop

    Photo: Framing Workshop