New partnership aims to map and monitor key biodiversity areas

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National Broadcasting Corporation of Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea

Eleven of the world’s leading conservation organizations have announced an ambitious new partnership to identify, map, monitor and conserve Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) – places that include vital habitats for threatened species – with more than US$15 million committed over the next five years.

Through the Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership, resources and expertise will be mobilized to further identify and map Key Biodiversity Areas worldwide. The announcement was made at the IUCN World Conservation Congress currently taking place in Honolulu Hawaiʻi.

Monitoring of these sites will enable detection of potential threats and identification of appropriate conservation actions. For those in the Pacific region, there is no exception. They too will benefit from this partnership.

The Partnership will advise national governments in expanding their protected areas network, and will work with private companies to ensure they minimize and mitigate their impact on nature.

According to Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, "This is a vitally important initiative for our planet’s biodiversity, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has engaged with hundreds of experts and decision-makers to develop a Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas." 

Inger Andersen, Director General of IUCN added that our planet is at the crossroads and we need to take urgent action if we want to secure its ability to sustainably support us.

“Information about where and why a site is considered key for the survival of threatened species underpins all sustainable development," said Andersen, "and will be critical for achieving Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Key Biodiversity Areas will contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 14 – on the conservation and sustainable use the oceans - and Goal 15 – to manage forests, Combat desertification and halt land degradation.

To date, more than 18,000 global and regional Key Biodiversity Areas have been identified and mapped.