The current trend internationally for site ecological declaration is the KBA approach /concept. Twelve international conservation organizations joined forces and established the KBA partnership in order to achieve this goal, and standardize the criteria.
One of the principles of the KBA Programme is the strong involvement of local experts and stakeholders in the identification and documentation of KBAs. To ensure the coordination and collaboration of national experts representing different taxonomic groups and biodiversity elements, it is recommended to establish National Coordination Groups (NCGs) working towards the development of a single, coherent list of KBAs in each country.
Based on that, SPNL initiated the process of establishing a National Coordination Group where 15 known biodiversity experts have declared their interest. These experts represent main known universities, in addition to Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, and Lebanese Environment Forum.
SPNL organized the first brainstorming meeting on Friday 14th of September 2018 where the role and responsibility of the National Coordination Group were discussed.
Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are ‘sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity’. Over 15,000 have been identified worldwide in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. In April 2016, A Global Standard for the identification of KBAs was adopted by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The KBA Standard seeks to harmonize existing approaches to the identification of important sites for biodiversity, support identification of important sites for elements of biodiversity not considered in existing approaches, and provide an objective, standard, consistent, repeatable, transparent and rigorous system. Each is a discrete area of land or water that meets the KBA criteria and thresholds and is manageable as a single unit.
In 2016 the KBA Partnership was launched, comprising BirdLife International, IUCN, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society, Global Environment Facility, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, NatureServe, Amphibian Survival Alliance, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The Partnership’s purpose is to develop and maintain an up-to-date, fully documented list of sites identified against the KBA Standard, and to communicate, promote and position this information to enable the achievement of the KBA vision. Data will be held in the World Database of Key Biodiversity AreasTM and accessible online via the KBA Website.
The KBA Partnership comprises 12 partners:
BirdLife International http://www.birdlife.org/
Amphibian Survival Alliance http://www.amphibians.org/
Conservation International http://www.conservation.org/Pages/default.aspx
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund http://www.cepf.net/Pages/default.aspx
Global Environment Facility https://www.thegef.org/gef/
Global Wildlife Conservation http://globalwildlife.org/
The text of the KBA Partnership Agreement can be downloaded here. Please, note that some of the Annexes to this Agreement may be subject to change as experience is gained during the implementation of the KBA Programme.