Protected Areas

The Protected Areas Programme manages the World Database on Protected Areas www.protectedplanet.net and develops and supports the scientific basis for the valuation of protected areas, assesses the management and ecological effectiveness of these areas, and monitors this performance at a global level.

We provide support for protected area networks, such as World Heritage Sites and Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas, and work on ensuring the long-term sustainability of protected areas.

In This Section

About Protected Areas

Protected areas are managed to achieve the conservation of nature and are internationally recognised as important tools for conserving species and ecosystems.

More

World Database on Protected Areas

World Database on Protected Areas

The World Database on Protected Areas, managed by UNEP-WCMC, is the largest assembly of data on the world's terrestrial and marine protected areas.

More

World Heritage Sites

The World Heritage List includes some of the world’s most important cultural and natural sites: the Egyptian pyramids, Great Wall (China), Taj Mahal (India), Machu Picchu (Peru), Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Grand Canyon (USA). UNEP-WCMC works to provide technical support to the World Heritage Convention.

 

More

Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs)

Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs)

ICCAs are protected areas that are voluntarily conserved by local communities, which can contain significant biodiversity, ecological and cultural services. UNEP-WCMC is working to build awareness and recognition of such areas.

More

Protected Areas Resilient to Climate Change in West Africa

Protected Areas Resilient to Climate Change in West Africa

The West Africa region is highly vulnerable to climate change, and the current protected area systems are unlikely to provide adequate coverage in the future. This project aims at developing tools to increase the resilience of protected areas to climate change at the regional scale.

More

Protected Area Management in Kenya

Protected Area Management in Kenya

In Kenya, protected areas are either managed by the state, privately, or by the local communities. This project will assess the environmental benefits of these different types of management.

More

Our Protected Planet: Strengthening the Information Base in Asia

Our Protected Planet: Strengthening the Information Base in Asia

The project aims to strengthen the information base in Asia by verifying and improving the national parks and protected areas data held in the World Database on Protected Areas through a review by national and international experts, facilitated by UNEP-WCMC.

More

Management and Monitoring of Protected Areas

Management and Monitoring of Protected Areas

Assessment and monitoring of protected areas is crucial to ensure biodiversity protection and the long-term sustainability of protected areas. UNEP-WCMC uses management effectiveness assessments and develops indicators as standardised ways of evaluating protected areas.

More

Protected Area Networks

Protected Area Networks

Networks of protected areas are those that are linked by a common focus, often having similar values and management approaches. UNEP-WCMC works to identify, support and promote these networks.

More

KEY PARTNERS

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) - the WCPA is administrated by IUCN’s Programme on Protected Areas and works with us to promote the establishment and management of protected areas globally, being a joint partner in the World Database on Protected Areas.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Centre - UNESCO is the advisory body for natural heritage, and we work with them to identify and protect natural World Heritage sites of international universal value.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - we support the CBD's Programme on Work on Protected Areas, which is a global action plan for protected area networks within countries.