In a remarkable achievement, the “Key Biodiversity Areas – establishing the blueprint for 30×30” project, funded by the Bezos Earth Fund, has identified 719 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) across seven countries in the Tropical Andes and Congo Basin regions. Key Biodiversity Areas are the most important places in the world for species and their habitats. From deserts to the middle of the ocean, these sites are essential for the planet’s overall health and the persistence of biodiversity.

This ambitious project, led by BirdLife International, marks a significant step toward preserving the world’s biodiversity and achieving the goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also known as the Biodiversity Plan.

The comprehensive assessment, conducted by seven implementing organizations, over 600 experts, and 129 member organizations of seven National Coordination Groups, has led to the identification of 248 entirely new KBAs and the re-assessment of 575 previously identified sites. The project has also resulted in the designation of the world’s first KBAs based on distinct genetic diversity in Colombia and the world’s first KBA identified for its ecological integrity in the Republic of Congo.

“The Bezos KBA project has been a great success, not only by comprehensively assessing and updating the list of KBAs in the seven participating countries, but also by putting KBAs firmly on the radar of governments and other stakeholders,” said Zoltan Waliczky, Global Site Conservation Coordinator at BirdLife International. “We hope that our experiences will serve as a model for future national KBA assessments and that our findings will contribute to the global effort to protect biodiversity.”

The project has also led to increased collaboration between national and local governments, local communities, and experts, with many countries expressing interest in using KBAs as priority sites for conservation and management. Indigenous communities were actively involved in the process, and their knowledge was crucial for the project’s success.

The rich information generated during the Bezos KBA Project will be crucial in informing the development of national biodiversity action plans and strategies, ensuring that the goals of the Global Biodiversity Framework are met. The project’s success demonstrates the importance of identifying and protecting KBAs as a key strategy for conserving the world’s biodiversity.

About the KBA Partnership
The Key Biodiversity Area Partnership – an ambitious partnership of 13 global conservation organizations, including the Amphibian Survival Alliance – is helping prevent the rapid loss of biodiversity by supporting nationally led efforts to identify the places on the planet that are critical for the survival of unique species of plants, fungi and animals, and the ecological communities they comprise.