What is a 'Key Biodiversity Area'? Why is it important, how was it established and what is its relevance to business? The answers to these and other key questions can be now found on the 'A-Z Areas of Biodiversity Importance' website, which was launched today at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity taking place in Nagoya, Japan.
Spotlighting some 35 important areas worldwide -such as Ramsar, World Heritage sites and Protected Areas -this electronic guide also explains the species and habitats they seek to protect as well as in their legal status and the extent to which local communities are present.
'The A-Z guide is a useful reference to support business and other sectors with their biodiversity commitments to mark our contribution to the Year of Biodiversity,' said Jon Hutton, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) which created the guide in partnership with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The guide, the first of its kind, is geared to assist the business community, governments as well as NGOs by providing useful expert reviewed information, links to tools with spatial data, and further online resources to raise awareness and support decision-making about areas important for biodiversity conservation.
'The A to Z guide is a useful tool to inform decisions by businesses on the siting of projects so as to minimize the environmental footprint and maximize conservation opportunities associated with infrastructure development,' said Ernani Pilla, Natural Resources Senior Specialist of the IDB.
The guide also covers the criteria behind the management practices for protecting different areas and important information, like legal and compliance aspects as well as the biodiversity and socio-cultural values that need to be upheld in each location.