Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) - Asia

Okinawa Rail. Photo: Daniel L. Smith
Okinawa Rail. Photo: Daniel L. Smith

BirdLife's Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Programme identifies, monitors and protects a global network of priority sites for the conservation of birds and other wildlife. BirdLife Partners take responsibility for the IBA Programme nationally, with the regional secretariats and BirdLife International Secretariat taking the lead on regional and international aspects. Over 12,000 sites in some 200 countries and territories have been identified as Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas.

Since IBAs are identified, monitored and protected by national and local organisations and individuals, working on the ground, the IBA Programme can be a powerful way to build national institutional capacity, and to set an effective conservation agenda. 

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in Asia: Key Sites for Conservation documents a total of 2,293 IBAs in all 28 countries and territories in the Asia region. These sites cover a total area of 2,331,560 km2, equivalent to 7.6% of the region's land area. National directories have also been published for Cambodia, China (mainland), Hong Kong (China) , India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Taiwan (China), Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.

By 2020, the BirdLife Asia Partnership aims to save at least 50% of the highly threatened IBAs identified by BirdLife Partners across Asia from damaging development, through nationally and internationally co-ordinated campaigns and other means. Effective management and/or restoration will be in evidence at 50% of IBAs in BirdLife Partner countries/territories, including both terrestrial and marine sites.

To ensure the continued connectivity of the IBA network in the face of habitat loss and climate change, assessments will take place at the highest priority sites in each country, with landscape level work around and between these sites.

IBA monitoring will be in place in Partner countries/territories to inform conservation management and respond to the need for action. The BirdLife Asia Partnership will review and update the regional and national IBA directories as contributions to the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi targets, and to the national biodiversity agendas.

The Partnership will undertake basic documentation and monitoring of the ecosystem services and livelihood benefits of at least 5% of IBAs in Partner countries.