Key Biodiversity Areas - Training Materials

Source: Key Biodiversity Areas website (https://www.keybiodiversityareas.org/)

Biodiversity loss is occurring at an alarming rate across the world’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. A crisis in its own right, the evidence also indicates that the loss of biodiversity jeopardizes the delivery of vital services biodiversity provides to people, such as crop pollination, fisheries, and cultural heritage. Reversing this trend requires addressing the destruction and degradation of natural habitats. Therefore, identifying and safeguarding sites of particular importance for biodiversity is urgent. Private industry, governments and many others need a reliable, scientifically valid, and globally representative source of information on sites that are critical for biodiversity conservation, to help them make management, development, and investment decisions. These sites are called Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs for short).

For the first time, the conservation community has rallied around a standard approach to identifying sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. National Coordination Groups identify KBAs using the best available scientific data and globally standardised criteria. KBA maps and associated biodiversity data help guide the strategic expansion of protected area networks by governments, inform the implementation of international environmental agreements, support national and regional spatial planning, inform private sector safeguard policies and investments, and inform conservation efforts of local and indigenous communities.

To date, KBAs have been most comprehensively identified for birds. Over the next 10 years, the KBA Partnership will map KBAs for ecosystems as well as many other animal and plant species, and thereby identify the most important marine, freshwater, and terrestrial sites to conserve on the planet.

The application of the KBA criteria requires a reasonable understanding of them and the assessment parameters that can be used to apply them. The KBA Guidelines provide in-depth guidance on how to apply the KBA criteria, thresholds, and delineation procedures consistent with the KBA Standard. Additionally, in order to help facilitate KBA identification, several tools and training materials have been developed to help KBA proposers.

Training materials are available through an online training course designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and delineate KBAs consistent with the KBA Standard. This self-paced technical course is primarily geared towards KBA practitioners and experts who will be involved in KBA identification and training.

Proposals are made online in the World Database of KBAs where the user is guided through a process that will automatically assess whether the KBA criteria are met. If the data provided show that the site does meet one or more of the criteria, then additional details about the site are requested, along with a delineated boundary of the site.

Proposals are made online in the World Database of KBAs where the user is guided through a process that will automatically assess whether the KBA criteria are met. If the data provided show that the site does meet one or more of the criteria, then additional details about the site are requested, along with a delineated boundary of the site.

KBA Proposal form has also been developed in Excel format, which a proposer can use to check the information that will be required for a full proposal and to check if the site meets any KBA criteria for the species or ecosystems proposed. Guidance in the use of this form is provided in Key Biodiversity Areas Proposal Process: Guidance on Proposing, Reviewing, Nominating and Confirming sites. Version 1.0.

In order to delineate KBAs some knowledge of the use of GIS software is needed to create shapefiles for submission to the World Database of KBAs. A tutorial for the open source package Q-GIS has been developed to guide users through the basics of creating shapefiles, including the understanding of projections and the calculation of areas of polygons, both of which are also needed for calculation of range areas from IUCN polygon ranges for species as well as for delineating KBAs.