IBAs in Africa
Many local actions making a global impact
The Important Bird and Biodiversity Area Programme aims to identify, document, monitor and protect a network of sites for the conservation of birds, other biodiversity and wider ecosystems and their services. BirdLife Partners take responsibility for the IBA Programme nationally, with the BirdLife Africa Secretariat taking the lead on regional aspects and in some priority non-Partner countries. Over 1,250 sites have been identified as IBAs in 59 countries and territories.
A site is recognised as an IBA only if it meets certain criteria, based on the occurrence of key bird species that are vulnerable to global extinction or whose populations are otherwise irreplaceable. An IBA must be amenable to conservation action and management.
The IBA criteria are internationally agreed, standardised, quantitative and scientifically defensible. Ideally, each IBA should be large enough to support self-sustaining populations of as many as possible of the key bird species for which it was identified or, in the case of migrants, fulfill their requirements for the duration of their presence.
The IBA programme in Africa provides information on key sites for biodiversity. To date national directories have been published covering;
National IBA Conservation Strategies (NIBACS) are defined as flexible frameworks or documents containing goals, objectives, priorities and mechanisms for IBA conservation that guide all key players to the priorities and actions needed, and defines their roles. The aim of NIBACS is to provide a clear focus at a national level for plans and tools and to build consensus for conserving IBAs through collaborative action by stakeholders.
The future direction of the IBA Programme in Africa is to;