Key Biodiversity Areas

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) are 'sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity’, in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. The Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (IUCN 2016) sets out globally agreed criteria for the identification of KBAs worldwide.

While the Mediterranean basin hotspot is well known for its globally important biodiversity, its freshwater biodiversity has not been as widely recognized for its importance. To overcome this trend, Freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) have now been identified, mapped and validated throughout the Mediterranean hotspot. These KBAs provide resources that are essential for guiding decisions on the conservation and sustainable management of freshwater biodiversity in the region. 

How We Act

1. Providing training on KBA methodology, as well as guidance for national initiatives, and reviewing suggestions for KBA candidate sites.

2. Facilitating the creation of national KBA coordination groups (Eg: Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia)

3. Working on the ground to assess the current conservation status of KBA

  • The Sebou Basin in Morocco, through the WAMAN Sebou initiative (Managing Water Environment in the Sebou basin)
  • The Douro Basin in Portugal, through the Reviving Douro Basin initiative.
  • The Jbel Nadhour and Lagoon of Ghar El Melh, through the GEMWET initiative.

4. Identifying 'Freswhater Key Biodiversity Areas in Mediterranean Basin Hotspot' in collaboration with stakeholders. The results were collected in a report: 

  • At least 167 sites in the Mediterranean Basin qualify as freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) covering a total area of 302,557 km2 and incorporating 491 KBA trigger species (377 of which are threatened with extinction, 411 are restricted range and 107 are biome restricted).
  • 7% of the KBAs identified in this assessment were found outside the boundaries of any pre-existing protected areas or other KBAs. 
  • More information about KBA are available from the World KBA Database