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					BirdLife International / Audubon Society

"ALLPORT, Gary" <gallport@audubon.org>
04/29/2005 03:59 PM
To
"Jonathan M. Richart" <JRichart@ifc.org>
cc
"Kenneth Chin" <KChin@ifc.org>, <adeutz@iucn.org>, <dr.tim.reed@btinternet.com>,
<jsohn@wri.org>, <adeutz@iucn.org>, <steve.cox@wwfus.org>,
<g.prickett@conservation.org>, <rcurtis@TNC.ORG>, <bramble@nwf.org>,
<ccassagne@ifc.org>, <szilberman@iucnus.org>, <bbulmer@ifc.org>
Subject
IFC Critical Natural Habitats



Dear Jonathan

Firstly a belated thanks for the opportunity for detailed review of the IFC policy and
standards on 12th April. It was a most useful discussion.

I promised to put together a note following up on our discussion of the types of sites
which would fall under the IFC definition of "Critical Habitats" as identified and broadly
defined in the working texts we discussed at the meeting. My apologies to you and to the
copyees of this note that this comment has come so close to the deadline for comments. I
do hope that others can contribute if there is still time to help in your workings.

You may recall discussion of the definition of "areas which are of particularly high
conservation value". The working text went on to say something along the lines of:

"..including areas with high biodiversity or large numbers of endemic or threatened
species, areas required by migratory species, areas having significant social, economic or
cultural importance to local communities, and areas with unique assemblages of species
or which are associated with key evolutionary or other biological processes."

In considering this issue the World Bank made reference in its environment standards to a
list of such sites including formal Protected Areas and sites which had been identified by
technically competent authorities as of significance for certain taxa. The formal list of
Protected Areas stands as the initial list of such sites and I would imagine that you have
already identified the formal lists of such sites via IUCN-WCPA and the UNEP-World
Conservation Monitoring Centre. However, the science data available on the latter sites -
what are increasingly known as key biodiversity areas (kbas for short) - has improved
dramatically since the World Bank's review. As we discussed in the meeting it would be
worthwhile IFC basing its referencing and information sourcing on this newly available
and increasingly accessible body of work. The various conservation bodies working on
site-based approaches have been converging on common criteria and definitions for kbas
the details of which are published in a paper "Key Biodiversity Areas as Site
Conservation Targets" Eken, et al. published in Bioscience in December 2004. I gave a
hard copy of this paper to you at the meeting and can forward it again as a .pdf if
required. I refer you to this paper for the details of methodology etc and would propose
that all sites selected by this process form the second pillar of Critical Habitats along with
the formally recognised Protected Areas. It is worth noting that there is substantial
overlap beween kbas and Protected Areas, but, as you can imagine, there are still many
areas of global biodiversity significance which lie outside the Protected Area system.

The collaborating institutions working on kbas are seeking to expand the range of
taxonomic coverage to include all forms of life and to build a body of technical data on
sites and species which is of the highest technical standards. Furthermore, there is a
major commitment to ensure that these are data regularly updated by means of a
supporting monitoring system. Glenn Prickett of CI explain in the course of our meeting
the 'Conservation Commons', a process by which conservation organisations are now
working together to bring all this data together into an easily accessible source for use by
conservation practitioners, academics and those involved in environmental assessment.
This is still in its early stages but shows considerable promise. I think Bill Bulmer of IFC
showed great interest in this concept as it has the potential to provide the information that
IFC internal reviewers would require in a useable and easily accessible form (I would
flag that BirdLife as one of the most energised members of the kbas group, would be very
interested in discussing this further). In the meantime much of the information is
available through published sources in hard copy and, increasingly, on the web. A list of
such sources can be supplied to IFC and updated regularly.

I hope you will see the value of encompassing kbas as part of the defined Critical
Habitats and that the wording of the relevant texts can be crafted accordingly. If I can be
of any further assistance then please do get in touch.

One final note; could I ask you to check if I have copied this note to the correct email
address for Bill Bulmer please? I do not have his card to hand was not sure of the exact
syntax.


Good luck with your work,


Gary Allport

				
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