Protected Areas

IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme and

IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas

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Protected and conserved areas are the foundation of biodiversity conservation. They safeguard nature and cultural resources, improve livelihoods and drive sustainable development. 

IUCN works to establish best practices and standards that maximise the effectiveness of protected and conserved areas and advances justice and equity in conservation, including the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. 

In its work on protected areas and conserved areas, IUCN focusses on three key areas:


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  • In the spotlight:

    The IUCN Green List

    The IUCN Green List now counts 15 new sites, bringing the total number of sites listed to 40. The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas is the first global standard of best practice in area-based conservation. It certifies natural sites that are effectively managed and fairly governed.

  • In the spotlight:

    BIOPAMA

    The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme aims to improve  the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities.

  • In the spotlight:

    PANORAMA - Solutions for a Healthy Planet

     

    Explore applied protected area solutions from around the globe!

    PANORAMA is a partnership promoting examples of inspiring, replicable solutions across a range of conservation and development topics, to enable cross-sectoral learning and upscaling of successes. Read more about IUCN's engagement in PANORAMA.  

  • In the spotlight:

    MOOCs and protected areas capacity building

    Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are now an undeniable part of the education landscape and a revolutionary opportunity for everyone across the world with an Internet connection to access free courses and to receive a certificate or academic credits. The IUCN Papaco MOOCs on 'protected areas management' and 'ecological monitoring' have cumulated a number of 12,700 registrations so far from more than 120 countries. Two more MOOCS have just started, on 'law enforcement in protected areas', and 'species conservation' in African protected areas. Read more about the origins, the participants, and success rates of IUCN Papaco's MOOCs to date.

News

  • Field visit in privately protected area in Samoa, June 2018 Photo: IUCN/BIOPAMA

    A year in images: BIOPAMA 2018

    18.01.2019

    In 2018, the BIOPAMA programme engaged with a significant number of stakeholders to ensure that BIOPAMA’s activities support the needs of the countries and their actors, as well as assist them in achieving their conservation objectives and international...

  • Cameroon Photo: Thomas Bacha/IUCN

    Strengthening partnerships and action for protected areas in Western and Central Africa

    08.01.2019

    Tanya Merceron is IUCN's new regional coordinator for Western and Central Africa of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme, based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In this interview, she tells us about her professional career before...

  • Larry Hamilton Photo: Larry Hamilton

    Celebrating the 100th edition of the Mountain Protected Areas Update!

    21.12.2018

    The strength and resilience of the IUCN WCPA Mountain Network and Specialist Group needs no other indication than the 100th edition of the Mountain UPDATE. 

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Publications

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World Database on Protected Areas

The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global database on terrestrial and marine protected areas. It is a joint project between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), managed by UNEP...

Protected area solutions

Protected areas offer vital solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges, including climate change, species extinction and poverty. Recognising this, IUCN has defined 'Solutions' as one of the core business lines for its global work on protected areas....
IUCN Green List map Photo: IUCN

IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas

The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas is the first global standard of best practice for area-based conservation. It is a programme of certification for protected and conserved areas – national parks, natural World Heritage sites, community conserved areas, nature reserves...

IUCN Protected Area Publications

From time to time, IUCN together with WCPA and other partners produces books and journal articles on topics related to protected areas. Some of these titles can be accessed here.

 

Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

Thumbnail_Oceans MPA issues brief Photo: IUCN

Marine protected areas and climate change

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – areas of the ocean set aside for long-term conservation aims – are the only mainstream conservation-focussed, area-based measure to increase the quality and extent of...

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