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Key Biodiversity Areas guiding where 30% protection should go

13th August 2021

Simien Mountains Cliffs and Heather
Simien Mountains Cliffs and Heather - A. Plumptre

The recent release of the first draft of the post2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has a target that 30% of land and seas should be covered by protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs or Conserved areas). The language of this target 3 is almost identical to the Aichi target 11, a target set for 2010-2020 to protect or conserve 17% of land and 10% of marine areas. In both targets there is specific language that protection/conservation should be in sites of particular importance for biodiversity but science shows that under Aichi Target 11 many protected areas were not placed in globally important sites but tended to be placed where it was cheap to conserve or easy to establish sites. It is important we have more specific guidance on where protected and conserved areas should be placed. KBAs provide the ideal tool to do this. They are defined using science-based criteria published as an IUCN Standard and are compiled in the most comprehensive database of globally important sites, accessed freely on the KBA website. KBAs should therefore be explicitly incorporated within the global biodiversity framework targets and headline indicators. Text has been proposed that show how this could be achieved here.

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