How KBAs are used

KBAs and international conventions

KBAs are increasingly being recognised as globally important sites that need to be factored into global, regional, national, and sub-national planning.

KBAs can inform the strategic expansion of protected area networks by governments and civil society working toward achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (in particular Target 11, but also targets 5, 12, 13 and others), as established by the Convention on Biological Diversity. They can also serve to inform the description or identification of sites under international conventions (such as Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas described under the Convention on Biological Diversity, wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention, natural World Heritage Sites under the World Heritage Convention and sites for migratory species relevant for the Convention on Migratory Species and its daughter Agreements).

One particular subset of KBAs — Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) — has been extensively used by European Union Member States as candidate sites for the designation of Special Protection Areas under the Birds Directive.