Martin Harvey, WWF

Working with KBAs

The KBA Programme aims to identify map and promote the conservation of the most important places for nature across the globe. A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas sets out the global criteria with quantitative thresholds that have been developed through an extensive consultation spanning several years. Detailed guidelines have also been developed to help users apply these criteria. A KBA Partnership, comprising 13 International Conservation and Funding agencies, has been formed to support the implementation of the KBA Programme.

The process of identifying and proposing KBAs is highly inclusive, and aimed to be a nationally driven process. Anyone with appropriate scientific data may propose a site to qualify as a KBA, and consultation with stakeholders at the national level (both non-governmental and governmental organizations) is an essential part of the proposal process. Site proposals must undergo independent scientific review prior to being nominated. Once confirmed, these KBAs are available to view on the KBA website, where they are made available to a variety of end users of KBA data which include governments, private sector companies, financing institutions as well as the conservation and research community.

The site proposal and nomination processes are well described, and the KBA Programme has established several supporting structures to help achieve a long term vision of ‘a comprehensive network of sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity is appropriately identified, correctly documented, effectively managed, sufficiently resourced and adequately safeguarded’. Among these structures, the KBA Secretariat coordinates the partnership and ensure the delivery and promotion, while the KBA Committee is responsible for the governance and strategic direction of the partnership. Further details about the structures and functions of the KBA Programme can be found here.

KBAs are becoming widely recognised as the global standard that measures sites of global importance for biodiversity conservation, through the application of scientific criteria. A growing number of scientific publications are showing how the criteria are applied and how different users are engaging with KBAs.