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Getting ready for scaling up – China establishes its Key Biodiversity Areas National Coordination Group

14th July 2022

On the 22 June 2022 in Beijing China, the China Key Biodiversity Areas National Coordination Group (KBA NCG) was formally established with support from IUCN China and the SEE Foundation.

Identifying important and critical biodiversity areas is the fundamental first step in carrying out natural and ecological conservation and restoration. Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity, are gaining increasing recognition in that effort. KBAs are increasingly being used to guide protected area expansion in countries around the world. China, as President of the COP15 that will be finalising a new Global Biodiversity Framework, which includes ambitious text to expand protection to 30% of the planet by 2030. KBAs can help guide where this 30% should be best placed to maximise the biodiversity conserved.

In China, IUCN has been actively introducing the KBA standards to its members and partners since 2018, with a goal to contribute to the growing conservation and restoration efforts, and the ecological civilization development of China. A series of activities such as translation of the KBA Standard and guidelines, and training and workshops have been delivered to raise awareness of the Key Biodiversity Areas approach and its relevance to their Ecological Redlines programme.

On 22 June 2022, IUCN China held an online launch meeting of KBA China National Coordination Group (NCG), marking the formal establishment of the KBA China NCG and the official launch of KBA work in China. At the meeting, Andrew Plumptre, Head of KBA Secretariat, introduced the global progress of KBA, the KBA standards, KBA identification and nomination process, and provided suggestions for the KBA China NCG. IUCN China then introduced the progress of KBAs in China and the preparation work for the China NCG. Extensive and good discussions took place among the KBA NCG members to review and agree on a Terms of Reference for the KBA China NCG, and to elect the first executive team including the Chair, Co-Chair, Liaison and Secretary.

"We will focus on further familiarizing with the KBA standards, collating and analyzing relevant information and results, formulating operational procedures and processes, and starting KBA identification across the country", said Dr. Weihua XU, the Chair of the KBA China NCG and professor at Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Consisting of 24 members from government think tanks, research institutions and universities, NGOs and KBA partners, the KBA China NCG will launch pilot work as early as possible, including assessing the existing KBAs against the KBA standard, carrying out KBA identification, reviewing proposals from external experts and institutions, and supporting the publishing of new sites in the World database of KBAs.

Mr. Yan ZHANG, Head of IUCN China noted "IUCN China provides secretariat support for the KBA China NCG, and works closely with SEE Foundation and other IUCN Members to jointly support the development of the KBA China NCG and the KBA work in China."

For more information, please contact info.China@IUCN.org.

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