SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
The Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are internationally recognised sites for the conservation of birds at a global scale. They are identified using international scientific criteria and form a net of fundamental sites for the conservation of all birds with a poor conservation status.
- Critical sites for the conservation of birds and biodiversity;
- Internationally important sites;
- Concrete targets for nature conservation actions;
- Selected using objective international criteria;
- Used to reinforce the already existing networks of Protected Areas, namely the Natura 2000 network.
The criteria used for identifying the IBAs are clear, objective and compatible with the establishing principles of the “Zones of Special Protecion” (ZPE’s, in Portuguese) stated in the Directive 79/409/CEE (Birds Directive from the European Union). For this reason, all the IBAs identified with those criteria should be designated as ZPE’s, an opinion shared by the European Commission itself and supported by previous cases from the European Court of Justice.