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Protected Planet is a new initiative to showcase the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) that uses the 'citizen science' approach to engage the public in gathering and improving information on protected areas. By making this information openly available, the global community can help to improve it, thereby assisting in the conservation of biodiversity and helping to boost global interest in protected areas. Protected Planet is a compilation of the WDPA data, together with species data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and incorporates articles from Wikipedia™, Google Maps™ technology, and photos from Panoramio™ and Flickr™.
A combination of high quality data, the integration of science, direct global reporting and open technology has made Protected Planet a shining light in biodiversity informatics. Protected Planet is unique in opening communication channels between governments and the public through a shared interest in protected areas.
Harnessing the power of Web 2.0 technology used by social networking platforms like Facebook™ and Twitter™, Protected Planet encourages the involvement of the global population like never before and brings protected areas to a whole new generation of users - managers, governments, policy makers, scientists, NGOs, local communities and the general public. Protected Planet has been developed by UNEP-WCMC in collaboration with informatic consultants Vizzuality™ and Solertium™, which has resulted in a highly visual design with intuitive search functions which aim to inspire users to explore, find and elaborate on protected areas information. By enabling anyone to edit and contribute to protected areas information the quality and currency of information on the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is vastly improved.
Protected Planet is based on the WDPA, which is the only global dataset on protected areas, in existence since 1981, a report of which is released annually. Since the launch of Protected Planet, the data changes made by community members are shown in addition to the official records.
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