International Science Workshop of the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas in collaboration with the Science for Nature and People Partnership working group on KBAs and Ecosystem Services

Reporting on Conservation  – Key Biodiversity Areas and Ecosystem Services

Hotel Palace Royal, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
November 7-10, 2017



Workshop Summary and Results

Dual focus of the Workshop

This International Science Workshop gathered scientists and other experts to establish a common understanding of some major conservation issues for the implementation of Aichi Target 11, under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The workshop was held with two distinct, but closely related, foci. The first day was dedicated to determining a viable path forward for the Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System national data base, which will address current and future needs for Canadian reporting on conservation areas. The next three days were an international workshop focused on Key Biodiversity Areas and Ecosystem Services, addressing scientific and technical requirements for supporting management decisions that account for biodiversity.

Workshop Agenda and Participants

Participants were from Canadian Federal, Provincial and Territorial protected areas agencies, academia, as well as Canadian and international non-government conservation organizations, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The full Workshop Agenda is given in Appendix A, the list of all participants in Appendix B and the members of the Workshop Organizing Committee are listed in Appendix C.

Day 1 – CARTS National Workshop

In a continued effort to keep conservation areas reporting current and scientifically defensible in Canada, the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA) devoted a full day to discuss important issues facing the Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS). Pending the release of guidelines, both at the national level (through the CCEA) and at the international level (through IUCN), which will identify Other Effective Area Based Conservation Measures (OECM), the Canadian community of practice was asked to reflect on the reporting process itself.


Day 2 – Key Biodiversity Areas and Ecosystem Services Workshop

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. The 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress saw the launch of a global KBA Standard, consolidating the scientific criteria for identifying sites as KBAs, and a KBA Partnership of 11 international conservation organizations to support the identification, monitoring and conservation of these important sites. The criteria for identifying KBAs are limited to aspects of biodiversity, but the KBA Standard emphasizes the importance of documenting the ecosystem services, or the benefits people derive from nature, delivered by safeguarding these sites. 

The workshop was co-organized by the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA) and the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) Working Group on KBAs and Ecosystem Services, which is advancing the science and practice around documenting, measuring and valuing ecosystem services delivered by conserving KBAs. The CCEA is incorporated as a national, non-profit organization with a mission “to facilitate and assist Canadians with the establishment and management of a comprehensive network of protected areas representative of Canada’s terrestrial and aquatic ecological natural diversity”. The SNAPP working group is co-led by the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at Arizona State University and the IUCN WCPA-SSC Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas. This meeting was one of two global tests of the approach to documenting ecosystem services in KBAs, the other being in Myanmar.

Day 3 and 4 – Documenting Ecosystem Services delivered by KBAs and other sites

The workshop on Day 3 and 4 turned to the question of ecosystems services and how they might be best documented at KBAs. Ecosystem services are part of the recommended documentation for KBAs under the global Standard. Because KBAs are sites, the guidance under development will be equally applicable to protected areas and World Heritage Sites. This session stated with an introduction to ecosystem services and the SNAPP working group (Rachel Neugarten), which has been working to develop guidance for documenting ecosystem services at KBAs. One of the challenges in documenting ecosystem services at sites is to establish a minimum documentation standard. This Canada workshop follows an earlier workshop in Myanmar (March 2017), where the draft ecosystem services documentation was tested (presented by Penny Langhammer). This Canadian workshop further refined the recommended documentation and tested it in a different country.