Protected Areas

IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme and

IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas

Delivering the Promise of Sydney

Home

How we engage

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:


Section Slider

  • 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

  • Regulations on a turtle nesting beach, Bay Canh island, Con Dao National Park, Viet Nam Regulations on a turtle nesting beach, Bay Canh island, Con Dao National Park, Viet Nam Photo: IUCN/James Hardcastle

    Assurance for the IUCN Green List sustainability standard is required

    05.12.2019

    IUCN is now seeking to secure our assurance provider for the Green List through the next quadrennial period, 2020 to 2024. The Assurance Provider would help maintain and deliver a credible and transparent evaluation process and governance framework for the...

  • Turtle science in action Turtle science in action Photo: IUCN/Deviah Aiama

    The IUCN Green List gets down to earth and sea in Malaysia

    05.12.2019

    On the edge of Tun Mustapha Marine Park - one of Malaysia’s newest and largest marine protected areas and a Green List applicant site - WWF Malaysia, Sabah Parks and IUCN brought together representatives of Green List applicant sites to learn and share...

  • Selous Game Reserve, World Heritage, Tanzania All rivers within Selous Game Reserve belong to the Rufiji system, Tanzania's largest basin Photo: IUCN / Tilman Jaeger

    IUCN-outsourced paper finds no proof Rufiji dam project can meet Tanzania’s development needs

    05.12.2019

    A strategic environmental assessment meant to guide decisions on the Rufiji hydropower project in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve World Heritage site is completely inadequate, according to an independent technical review commissioned and issued today by IUCN....

Follow IUCN Protected areas

Publications

Learn more

Active Green List jurisdictions June 2019 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...

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....

Capacity development

Capacity development touches upon all aspects of IUCN's Global Protected Areas Programme. Below you will find links to the BIOPAMA page, the massive open online courses (MOOC) that the Programme on African Protected Areas and Conservation (PAPACO) organises, and the PA Law course, as...

Protected Area Categories

IUCN protected area management categories classify protected areas according to their management objectives. The categories are recognised by international bodies such as the United Nations and by many national governments as the global standard for defining and recording protected areas...

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...
Go to top