Peter Cairns, WWF

About KBAs

The diversity of life on Earth—the entire array of plants, animals and their habitats, collectively known as “biodiversity”—is essential for a healthy planet where all life can thrive, including humans. But the loss of biodiversity is occurring at an alarming rate across the planet.

Key Biodiversity Areas, which are among the most incredible and diverse places on Earth for nature, from deserts to the middle of the ocean, are sites of global importance to the planet’s overall health and the persistence of biodiversity. The Key Biodiversity Area Partnership - an ambitious partnership of 13 global conservation organizations - is helping prevent the rapid loss of biodiversity by supporting nationally led efforts to identify these places on the planet that are critical for the survival of unique plants and animals, and the ecological communities they comprise.

By mapping these most important sites on Earth, and providing information about the wildlife living there, private industry, governments and other stakeholders can make the best decisions about how to manage that land (or waters), where to avoid development, and how best to conserve and protect the animals and plants for which the sites are so important.

Safeguarding sites works—we have 40 years of case studies illustrating the value of identifying and safeguarding biodiversity. To date, the partnership and other interested groups have mapped more than 16,000 KBAs worldwide, safeguarding important populations of more than 13,100 species of conservation concern.