One of the most exciting news items for this week is the launch of the IBA online directory pages. Since the launch earlier this week, the directory webpage has received more than 700 hits. Many people have already provided positive comments and offered their assistance. For more info visit http://www.birdlife.org.za/conservation/iba/iba-directory. A lot of hard work has gone into preparing for the IBA Workshop which takes place next week, as well as the IBA National Steering Committee meeting on 15 May. Important issues will be discussed at the IBA Workshop, including the future strategy of the IBA Programme, systematic conservation planning, and setting conservation targets to ensure the IBA network is scientifically robust and defensible.
Dale Wright has been compiling a Conservation Planning framework document this week, as a contribution to the IBA Programme’s strategy discussions next week. The focus of the document is to develop a robust protocol for a spatial prioritisation process for the IBA Programme. This process essentially involves gathering and evaluating all the latest available data on bird species and their distributions, and applying scientifically sound criteria to map the areas of highest importance for birds, across regions and the country as a whole. In turn this will feed into a review of the current IBA network to produce an updated IBA network for South Africa.