Key biodiversity areas are places of international importance for the conservation of biodiversity through protected areas and other governance mechanisms.
They are identified nationally using simple, standard criteria, based on their importance in maintaining species populations. As the building blocks for designing the ecosystem approach and maintaining effective ecological networks, key biodiversity areas are the starting point for conservation planning at landscape level.
Governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, the private sector, and other stakeholders can use key biodiversity areas as a tool for identifying national networks of internationally important sites for conservation.
KBA delineation process is intended to lead to declaration of additional Protected Areas (see 2007 document entitled "Identification and gap analysis of key biodiversity areas: targets for comprehensive protected area systems")