key biodiversity areas

Protecting the Planet’s Irreplaceable Places

Biodiversity—every plant, animal, fungus and the habitats where they live—is essential for a healthy planet where all life can thrive, including humans.

But the loss of biodiversity is occurring at an alarming rate across the planet.

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA), which are among the most incredible and diverse places on Earth for nature, are sites of global importance to the planet’s overall health and the persistence of biodiversity. The Key Biodiversity Area Partnership—an ambitious partnership of 13 global conservation organizations, including Re:wild—is helping prevent the rapid loss of biodiversity by identifying these places on Earth that are critical for the survival of unique plants and animals.

Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the tallest coastal mountain on Earth. (Photo courtesy of Fundación Atelopus)

By mapping these important sites—and providing information about the wildlife living there—private industry, governments and other stakeholders can make better decisions about how to manage the land and water, where to avoid development, and how to best protect the animals and plants that depend on the continued health of Key Biodiversity Areas. To date, we have mapped more than 16,000 KBAs worldwide on land and in the sea, which conserve important populations of more than 13,100 species.

The Re:wild Solution

Re:wild prioritizes the protection of KBAs within Biodiversity Hotspots and High Biodiversity Wilderness Areas. See below for some of the specific KBAs where we work and the strategies we are implementing there to protect what remains of Earth’s wildlands. 

Rwindi River running through the DRC's Virunga National Park.

KBAs and the Decade of Biodiversity

The safeguarding of KBAs is a critical part of reversing the current trend of catastrophic loss of biodiversity to the benefit of all life on Earth. This is especially important as the global community turns to developing targets for the next decade to scale up the protection of the planet’s irreplaceable wildlife and wildlands. As the world’s governments negotiate a new strategic plan under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and more ambitious targets to address the planet’s biodiversity crisis, KBAs can—and should—be included in the new plan as part of a critical roadmap to meet a number of the targets.

Because KBAs offer a blueprint for most effectively conserving and scaling up action for our planet’s biodiversity, they can help ensure that the next 10 years focus on the sites most crucial for sustaining global biodiversity. They can also help focus action to prevent extinctions, improve the status of threatened species and halt and reverse population declines of wildlife species and loss of intact habitats.

Partners

Wild Facts

  • Key Biodiversity Areas cover 8% of the land surface of Earth.

  • The KBA Partnership includes 13 organizations that span the globe.

  • To date the partnership and other interested groups have mapped more than 16,000 KBAs worldwide.

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Solutions

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the interrelated crises of wildlife extinctions, climate change and pandemics. Re:wild works with local and Indigenous communities, conservation partners, governments and others to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our Key Biodiversity Area safeguarding approaches include any combination of the following solutions:

Science-based Decision-making

Conducting scientific research, synthesizing data and using that information to prioritize our conservation efforts and enable a deeper understanding of global biodiversity, its status and how best to conserve it.

Protected Area Creation

Identifying and prioritizing wildlands in need of increased protection status, including establishing new protected and conserved areas, Indigenous-managed territories, and private protected areas in these places.

protected area management

Improving the way protected and conserved areas are managed—involving communities, Indigenous peoples, sociology, economics, business management, and wildlife crime prevention—to ensure a safer future for biodiversity and local communities.

Partnering with Indigenous Peoples

Incorporating Indigenous knowledge, practices and values to support Indigenous peoples in protecting and managing their lands and natural resources.

Advocating for Earth

Building a team of engaged global citizens by inspiring changes in daily habits and promoting individual and collective actions that drive real and lasting change. We harness our platforms and reach to generate international attention around imminent threats to wildlife and wildlands and the communities who rely on them, usually from extractive industries, to positively influence decision-makers and other stakeholders.

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