Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs)

Over 15,000 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) have been identified so far © Dimitri B
Over 15,000 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) have been identified so far © Dimitri B

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs)

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. The Global Standard for the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas was adopted by the IUCN in April 2016 and launched at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September of the same year. The Standard builds on the more than 30 years of experience identifying IBAs and other sites of international importance, and expands it to all wildlife, plants and ecosystems.

The KBA Partnership

In September 2016, an ambitious initiative was launched to identify, document and promote a global list of KBAs identified using the new Standard. The KBA Partnership is formed by 11 of the world´s leading conservation organizations, who are each committing US$1 million over five years to advance KBA Programme. The current KBA Partners are:

  • BirdLife International
  • ​IUCN
  • Amphibian Survival Alliance
  • Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund
  • Conservation International
  • Global Environment Facility
  • Global Wildlife Conservation
  • NatureServe
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Wildlife Conservation Society

© Sandra Bertocha

Relationship between IBAs and KBAs

IBAs form the largest subset of KBAs, identified using birds as qualifying species. It is expected that many IBAs will also qualify as KBAs for other species groups, as well as for ecosystems of concern, under the KBA Standard. The BirdLife Partnership´s experience spanning several decades regarding the identification, conservation and safeguard of IBAs will be invaluable for the development of the KBA Programme. BirdLife will continue managing data on KBAs through the development of the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas and will publish the global list of KBAs through the KBA Website.