Identification 1.4: Sub-global IBAs
BirdLife aims to identify global-level IBAs across the world. However, IBAs may also be identified at the regional or sub-regional level. The respective region decides whether and when IBAs below the global level should be identified. Regional criteria are based on the four global IBA categories and should not introduce new elements to the framework. However, they may, for example, use lower thresholds and different species lists (e.g., of regionally threatened rather than globally threatened birds). These criteria should be standardised as far as possible across regions, though thresholds may vary.
Identifying IBAs at the national, state or local level may have substantial conservation value in particular countries that have the resources to protect these sites. Partners in those countries must decide whether or not to identify such sites, and how to develop appropriate criteria. However, all IBAs recognized by BirdLife International (the Partnership as a whole as opposed to individual Partners) must be sites of international conservation significance. This is essential to maintain the wider credibility of the IBA designation. The smallest scale for recognition by BirdLife is sub-regional (in terms of area, this can be defined as larger than c. 3 million square kilometres), for example the European Union and southern Africa. For very large countries, such as Australia, Russia or the USA, national level IBAs are effectively equivalent to sub-regional ones. IBAs identified as significant only at smaller scales than this are not included in the WBDB, nor in global and regional analyses and syntheses.
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