KBAs can be identified by a KBA National Coordination Group (KBA NCG) if this has been established in a country or by an individual or small group of proposers. Where KBA NCGs exist there is usually an initiative ongoing to identify KBAs across multiple types of species (e.g. mammals, birds, plants etc). Therefore, if an individual or small group has an interest in proposing a KBA in a country with an existing KBA NCG they are encouraged to work with that KBA NCG to make the proposal. Where a KBA NCG has not yet been established, proposers are encouraged to consider helping form such a group but if that is not possible they can put together a proposal for a site and submit it directly. In some cases, a KBA may already exist but a proposer realises that there is another species that also meets the KBA criteria and thresholds at that site and they want to update the site by including that species.
KBAs should be reviewed and updated nationally every 8-12 years to also confirm they still meet KBA status for the species or ecosystems that trigger KBA status for the site.
The KBA identification process is highly inclusive, consultative and nationally driven. Anyone with appropriate data may propose a site as a KBA, although consultation with relevant stakeholders at the local and national level is required when identifying the site and needs to be documented in the proposal.
In order to propose a site as a KBA, a proposer must apply the KBA criteria to data on biodiversity elements (species and ecosystems) at the site. Associated with the proposal process is the need to delineate the site accurately so that its boundaries are clear. The formal proposal is then made using a proposal process that ensures there is an independent review of the proposal before a site is incorporated in the World Database of KBAs. This is important given that KBA status at a site may lead to changes in actions of governments, private sector companies and other institutions following consultation as appropriate.