The United Nations List of Protected Areas is an essential reference document for all who want to understand the progress made in responding to the challenges of biodiversity loss and other environmental threats around the world. It is a record of extraordinary human achievement over 125 years - a commitment by nations, peoples, groups and individuals to safeguard areas of land and sea from destruction. Protected areas represent human ideals at their best - they express a long term vision and a broad sense of responsibility towards people and nature.
This version of the list is the twelfth in a series, each recording steady expansion in the total area protected. There are now some 12,754 areas in the UN List, covering almost 8% of the land surface of the world (a far smaller proportion of the oceans is protected). Compared to the previous, 1993 edition of the of the UN List, this report includes 2,933 more sites covering 3.9 million more square kilometres. At the end of the century it can be said that practically every country has protected areas; some have a very sophisticated network of sites.Resource Type: Reports
Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas (HERMES) was one of the 40 most successful projects under the EU's 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Following completion of the project in March 2009, The HERMES Story is published jointly by HERMES and UNEP to inform policy and decision makers from around the world about the lessons learned and the amazing new insights into deep-sea biodiversity, structure, function and dynamics discovered under HERMES. The HERMES Story highlights the need for concerted action to protect the deep sea against the increasing pressures, threats and impacts from human activities and climate change, and provides inspiration for the development of similar deep-sea research projects in other regions.Resource Type: Reports
Over the past 10 years a number of studies and consultations have been carried out to develop and refine the Global Strategy for achieving a balanced, representative and credible World Heritage List that reflects the world’s diverse heritage. This review is an important addition to that process, focusing on the inter-related elements of biogeography, habitats and biological diversity that underpin much of what we consider ‘natural heritage’.Resource Type: Reports
The deep sea is the oldest and largest biome on Earth, yet we have little knowledge of the ecosystems and processes in these dark, hidden depths. Only in the last two decades have new technologies enabled scientists to start exploring this last frontier – and their discoveries are fascinating but alarming: the deep sea is teeming with life but is already showing clear signs of anthropogenic impacts despite its remoteness. Many vulnerable deep-sea habitats and communities are being destroyed by fishing and are under threat from increasing exploitation of their mineral and living resources.Resource Type: Reports
This publication presents the results of an analysis on the economic impact and the potential of five of goods and services provisioned by conservation units for the Brazilian economy and society: forest products, public use, carbon, water and sharing of tax revenue.Resource Type: Tools / Applications
UNEP-WCMC and IUCN, with support from UNESCO, compile information sheets for all properties inscribed on the World Heritage List for natural or mixed (natural and cultural) reasons. These sheets are usually prepared following the inscription of a property on the World Heritage List. The sheets are updated from time to time. The latest available sheets are published on this webpage.Resource Type: Reports
A toolkit to support conservation by indigenous peoples and local communities:
Building capacity and sharing knowledge for Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs)
This report documents the growth and changing character of the protected areas systems of the Indo-Malayan Realm over the ten year period 1986 - 1996 and updates the Review of the Protected Areas System in the Indo-Malayan Realm published by the lUCN in 1986.Resource Type: Reports
This pilot study demonstrates the significant contribution of private initiatives to national protected area systems and underlines the importance of extending this survey to entire regions, as part of a global review of the role private protected areas.Resource Type: Reports
In 2008, the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted scientific criteria for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas in need of protection on the open oceans and deep seas.
While much scientific discovery lies ahead, available information and current and emerging methodologies already allow us to begin identifying oceanic features that are likely of particular ecological or biological importance.
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