March 2021
Médias Bulletins
Mar 02, 2021 post image

Hello Canadian KBA community members,

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of Canada’s National Key Biodiversity Areas Standard this month. The National adaptation of the Global KBA Standard was two years in the making, and involved many people in early discussions, drafts, and multiple review periods. We’d like to thank all partners that were involved and ECCC for funding the development of this document, as well as its translation into French. The National KBA Standard will be used alongside the Global KBA Standard to identify KBAs of national importance. The equally rigorous and quantitative National Standard allows us to include Canadian conservation priorities in our work, such as species and ecosystems at risk in Canada that aren’t threatened globally (see figure below for the main adaptations of the National KBA Standard). The resulting set of Global and National KBAs will provide a valuable tool for guiding conservation and stewardship actions to prevent biodiversity loss. Dr. Justina Ray, President and Senior Scientist at WCS Canada, will present the National Standard on March 17th at noon EST (webinar details below). Please tune in to ask questions and celebrate this important milestone with us. The National KBA Standard document (in English) will be made available on the KBA website on the day of the launch (French version to follow soon after).

schematic of KBA National Standard versus the KBA Global Standard


  • A huge number of fantastic candidates (91!) applied for the position of Ontario KBA Coordinator. The successful candidate will be offered the position this week and will hopefully begin working with partner organizations and experts in Ontario to identify KBAs in the province within a few weeks. Let us know if you would like to be involved.
  • A set of KBAs that have been identified in Yukon are near completion. These sites have all undergone expert review and review by the Canada KBA Secretariat. Next steps will include broader outreach with project partners and review/acceptance by the Canadian KBA Management Committee and then the Global KBA Secretariat.
  • A virtual KBA workshop was held in Manitoba at the end of February to relaunch a KBA effort in the province that was partially stalled due to the pandemic. Progress on KBAs identified for both species and ecosystem criteria was presented to 36 regional participants, who provided advice and ideas for next steps and who to involve, and suggested additional KBAs to be identified. Next steps will be to first complete proposals for KBAs that have already been identified with crucial expert input, and then move next to the identification of new KBAs for additional species and ecosystems.
  • We’ve made some important updates to our ‘KBAs in progress’ dashboard, including the addition of details about the species that trigger each KBA. Explore the 200+ KBAs that we are working on across Canada to see what taxonomic groups are showing up the most so far.


Save the date for the next webinar in our series:

Title: A National Standard for the Identification of KBAs in Canada

Date and time: March 17, 2021 at 12pm ET


The Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (the “KBA Standard”) outlines the rules for identifying KBAs and ensures that all globally-recognized KBAs worldwide are identified in a way that is objective, transparent and rigorous. In addition, it encourages coordinators of in-country KBA identification processes to adapt KBA criteria for identifying sites of national significance – similar to how the IUCN Red List has been adapted in Canada to COSEWIC’s process for assessing species at risk. Accordingly, Canada is the first country to lead the formulation of a National KBA Standard, presented in this webinar by Dr. Justina Ray (President and Senior Scientist at WCS Canada, and science advisor for Canada KBA program). Canada is home to a broad and complex scope of biodiversity, and as such, our goal for the National Standard was to provide a framework that assures the consistency and rigor of the Global Standard, while reflecting the national diversity found in this country. The National Standard provides guidance for the recognition of sites that host biodiversity important in the Canadian context (including infraspecies, range-edge species, and those that are stable globally, but imperiled in Canada), and leverages our growing KBA experience by providing additional guidance on site delineation and broad review of all KBAs.

Link to join:

Past Webinars:

Our February webinar explored various methods, tools and data that we are using and producing to aid in the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas in Canada. Presenters Chloé Debyser, Christine Terwissen and Juan Zuloaga provided an overview of these data products, including many that are open-access and broadly relevant to conservation in Canada. The link to this recording, and those for all other webinars in our series, can be found here.

As always, please get in touch if you have questions or if you want to learn more.

Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne

Canada Key Biodiversity Areas Coordinator / Coordonnatrice Zones Clés pour la Biodiversité

Mar 02, 2021