The Freshwater Biodiversity Unit of IUCN Species Programme organised a workshop bringing together a range of stakeholders to validate Freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in the southern European part (Balkan region) of the Mediterranean Biodiversity Hotspot.
In this workshop, held in Jahorina (Bosnia and Herzegovina) from 11-13 December, experts evaluated, completed and validated the river or lake catchments previously identified and proposed as freshwater KBAs for this part of the Mediterranean. They have also identified priority actions for each catchment. This work aims to provide the foundation for the creation of a representative Protected Areas network for freshwater species, as well as the resources that are essential for guiding decisions on the conservation and sustainable management of freshwater biodiversity in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot.
Moreover, participants discussed on what kind of general information can be collated for each site for entry into the World Biodiversity Database (WBDB) that currently holds information on the Important Bird Areas, Terrestrial KBAs and Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites.
KBAs are “Sites” that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity
The importance and urgency of this work is evident from the concentration of species found in the freshwaters of the Mediterranean Basin, the ecosystem services that are supplied to human communities by these freshwaters and their biodiversity, and the increasing threats to these ecosystems.
This was the first stakeholder KBA workshop, organised in collaboration with the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation. This project is part of the initiative “Mediterranean Biodiversity Assessment II”, identification of Important Freshwater Areas, and it was funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, MAVA Foundation, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), BioFresh consortium (EU FP7 project) and FREDIE initiative (Freshwater Diversity Identification for Europe).
For further info: Violeta Barrios