Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) have then been defined as ‘sites that contribute to the global persistence of biodiversity’, including vital habitat for threatened plant and animal species in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Read more about what are KBAs and how they are they identified.
In early 2016, the KBA Partners, under the coordination of IUCN, embarked on a project to develop a set of universal Principles and Recommendations for Responsible Business Operations in and around Key Biodiversity Areas and Technical Guidance outlining how businesses (from large multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises) in any economic sector should operate in and around KBAs, whether they are within protected areas or not.
The direct end users of the Guiding Principles and Recommendations and the Technical Guidance will be businesses operating in or sourcing materials from or near KBAs. In particular, the Guiding Principles and Recommendations will provide them support to ensure that their internal practices are adequate to meet their own corporate commitment to biodiversity conservation; to respond effectively to the requirements of lending institutions and the law; and to open a constructive dialogue with local stakeholders including affected communities and conservation organizations.
In addition to the direct businesses users, voluntary sustainability standards, financial institutions and regulators will also benefit from the development of a standardised approach to business operations in and around KBAs.
Principles and Recommendations for Responsible Business Operations in and around Key Biodiversity Areas
Draft 2 of the Principles and Recommendations for Responsible Business Operations in and around Key Biodiversity Areas was developed by the project’s Scientific Committee (which brings together representatives of IUCN, Wildlife Conservation Society, Fauna & Flora International, BirdLife International, WWF International, and the two co-chairs of the SSC-WCPA Joint Task Force on Protected Areas and Biodiversity).
The second draft built on input provided by over 25 representatives of industry, financial institutions and certification systems (identified as the three main end-users of this tool), during a meeting at IUCN in Gland, Switzerland, on 4-5 July 2016; further discussions during a series of meetings at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawai’i, from 1-10 September 2016; and, substantive direction and input provided by the KBA Partners.
IUCN helped lead a public consultation process on Draft 2
Between December 2016 and March 2017, IUCN and the members of the project’s Scientific Committee reached out to the wider conservation community, local communities and indigenous peoples groups, government representatives, development agencies, business and certification schemes representatives to ensure that the Principles and Recommendations were aligned with international best practice and fully considered the needs of other stakeholders living in proximity to and/or dependent on KBAs and their associated ecological and socio-cultural values.
The KBA Committee, the decision-making body for the KBA Partnership, will be ultimately responsible for approving the final text of this document.
For further information about Draft 2 Principles and Recommendations for Responsible Business Operations in and around Key Biodiversity Areas, please contact: Giulia.Carbone@iucn.org