About KBAs and Indigenous Stewardship
Over the past two decades, a group of organizations has developed a list of criteria to identify Key Biodiversity Areas or KBAs. These places are important for the long-term health and well-being of animals, plants, waters, and the land.
KBAs occur across all types of landscapes and seascapes, including on Indigenous Lands, and in many instances exist because of the stewardship and relationships First Nations, Métis and Inuit have with these species and places. Places like Haida Gwaii, Pelee Island, Ivvavik (also a national park), Walpole Island and the Okanagan Valley are already known to be remarkable for biodiversity, and there are Indigenous-led conservation efforts already occurring in all of these places. KBAs will also be identified in less well-known spots, and often on Indigenous land. In Canada and across the world, scientists are documenting that lands conserved by Indigenous Peoples have more biodiversity.
The overall goal of the KBA project in Canada is to identify KBAs and map out priority areas that meet these scientific criteria to support biodiversity conservation. While KBAs don’t usually include a focus on Indigenous values, we believe there is likely to be overlaps in the areas identified as KBAs and areas that are important to Indigenous Peoples.