Important Bird Areas in Asia
The comprehensive inventory of Asia's most important places for birds and biodiversity, "Important Bird Areas in Asia" (IBA) was launched on 18 November 2004 at the 3rd IUCN's World Conservation Congress in Bangkok.
The IBA inventory published by BirdLife International, identifies 2,293 sites, covering 7.6% of the region's total land area. The inventory took 8 years to complete, involving hundreds of ornithologists, volunteers and government staff in 28 countries and territories across the entire Asia region. It highlights:
The inventory provides a sound basis for development of national conservation strategies and protected areas programmes, and highlights areas that should be safeguarded through wise policies and land-use planning.
- In terms of numbers, China has the highest count of IBAs (501 - China mainland: 445; Taiwan: 53; Hong Kong: 2; Macao: 1), India comes second (465) , followed by Indonesia (227).
- In terms of area, the 1,141,418 km² of IBAs in China accounts for half of the total IBAs area in the region.
- 976 (43%) of the Asian IBAs are unprotected and a further 325 (14%) are only partially protected.
- The inventory warns that one in eight of the region's 2,700 birds are threatened with extinction unless these areas are adequately protected and managed.