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Key Biodiversity Areas. 21 April 2006. Background. All of nature is worth conserving Biodiversity is under siege Prioritization = deciding which elements of biodiversity need attention first (not which merit attention) Prioritization is necessary given limited time and resources

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Background

  • All of nature is worth conserving

  • Biodiversity is under siege

  • Prioritization = deciding which elements of biodiversity need attention first (not which merit attention)

  • Prioritization is necessary given limited time and resources

  • Most effective response: safeguard sites particularly important for biodiversity



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Necessity for targets in biodiversity conservation globally flexible conservation resources

* Justifying the relevance and efficiency of conservation strategies

* Establishing a baseline for monitoring changing biodiversity and, ultimately, conservation success


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Biosphere globally flexible conservation resources

Genes

Increasing scale of ecological organization

CI’s Conservation Outcomes

Landscapes /

Seascapes

Sites

Species

Areas

Protected

Corridors

Consolidated

Extinctions

Avoided


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need for establishing a global standard for the identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability


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Considerations for conservation planning identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability

  • Expert opinion? – no, transparent data

  • Surrogates for species? – no, species in their own right

  • Species richness? – no, species identities

  • Extrapolated ranges? – no, occurrence data to minimize commission errors

  • Grid cells? – no, management units

    The Key Biodiversity Areas approach


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Key Biodiversity Areas identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability

Sites of global significance for biodiversity conservation identified using globally standard criteria and thresholds, based on the needs of biodiversity requiring safeguard at the site scale.

Eken, et al. 2004. Key biodiversity areas as site conservation targets. BioScience, 54, 1110-1118.


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IBAs identified in 160+ countries identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability


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Extension to other taxonomic groups identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability

  • Important Plant Areas (Anderson 2002, Plantlife International 2004)

  • Important Sites for Freshwater Biodiversity (Darwall & Vié 2005)

  • Prime Butterfly Areas (van Swaay & Warren 2003)

  • AZE sites (www.zeroextinction.org)


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Priorities among KBAs identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceabilityAlliance for Zero Extinction sites

CR/EN single-site

endemics


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Groups working on KBAs identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability

  • BirdLife International

  • Plantlife International

  • IUCN Freshwater program

  • Conservation International

  • Several local NGOs


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KBA criteria identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability

  • Quantitative, objective, transparent

  • Based on framework of vulnerability and irreplaceability, widely used in systematic conservation planning

  • Identified based on species that need and benefit from site-level conservation

  • Applicable in terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms


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KBA criterion 1: Globally threatened species identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability

Based on presence of populations of species with high probability of extinction in short- to medium-term future

Sites with regular occurrence of one or more CR, EN, or VU species

Provisional thresholds:

CR+EN – 1 individual

VU – 10 pairs or 30 individuals


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KBA criterion 2: Restricted-range species identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability

Based on presence of populations of species that are geographically concentrated--they depend on network of irreplaceable sites within at least part of their range or life cycle

Sites with regular occurrence of one or more restricted-range species

Provisional threshold: 5% of global population of restricted range species (< 50,000 km2)


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KBA criterion 3: Globally significant congregations identification of sites of global biodiversity significance… based on vulnerability and irreplaceability

Geographically concentrated in time

Sites holding large proportions of the global population of a species at a given time (e.g. breeding colonies, foraging and roosting sites, bottleneck sites)

Provisional threshold:

1% of the global population of a congregatory species


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KBA criterion 4: Bioregionally-restricted species assemblages

Sites holding a significant proportion of the group of species whose distributions are restricted to a biome or subdivision of it

Criterion and thresholds still in development


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KBA Identification assemblages

  • Bottom-up, typically driven from national level

  • Builds on previous attempts to identify site priorities

  • Identified using best possible existing data

  • Based on known occurrence of species at the site

  • Data underpinning KBAs consolidated in a database and made available

  • Subjected to expert review

  • Iterative


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KBA assemblagesDelineation

  • KBA limits determined pragmatically

  • No fixed size limits

  • Actual or potential conservation unit

  • For PAs or similar management units meeting KBA criteria, boundaries used as starting point

  • Outside of PAs, can use data on habitat, topography, and socio-political boundaries to derive KBAs that can realistically be managed for conservation


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KBAs to date assemblages

  • KBA framework builds on these initiatives; considers all taxonomic groups for which data are available

  • Additional testing of criteria and thresholds greatly needed, especially in aquatic biomes

  • KBAs identified or identification underway in over 30 countries (IBAs in many more)

  • Critical component of CI’s conservation strategy (site-scale conservation targets)

  • Collaboration with other NGOs, particularly BirdLife partners, a priority in each region


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Inter-governmental Context assemblages

  • CBD Global Plant Conservation Strategy

    • “By 2010, protection of 50 per cent of the most important areas for plant diversity assured”

  • WPC Durban Accord, Action

    Plan and Recommendation

  • CBD COP7 Decision and

    Programme of Work on Protected Areas

  • CBD SBSTTA 10 recommendation on 2010 indicators

    • Additional indicator: “Overlays with areas of key importance to biodiversity”


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KBAs as basis for Programme of Work on Protected Areas assemblages

  • Implementation of PoW requires identification of priority sites for expansion and reinforcement of existing PA systems

  • National or regional conservation planning must take into account the global context

  • Globally significant sites should inform the highest priorities among full set of nationally important sites


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Conclusions assemblages

  • KBAs are sites of global significance for biodiversity conservation

  • Identified using quantitative, objective, transparent criteria

  • Target all known globally significant biodiversity for which site scale conservation is appropriate

  • Several conceptual and practical challenges remain, particularly in application to aquatic biomes

  • KBAs are being (and have been) identified, delineated, safeguarded and monitored across the globe

  • KBAs represent priority sites for expansion and reinforcement of existing PA systems