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

  • Pedro Rosabal, advocate of protected areas Pedro Rosabal, advocate and hero of protected areas Photo: IUCN/Trevor Sandwith

    Pedro Rosabal Gonzalez, unsung hero in a life of protected areas and nature conservation

    08.01.2020

    Our friend and colleague Pedro Rosabal Gonzalez, who served as Deputy Director of the Global Protected Areas Programme, left IUCN at the end of November 2019 after an extensive period of medical leave. Pedro made his mark on the programme, and was one of...

  • Lionesses in safari lodge Lionesses in safari lodge Photo: Wilderness Safaris

    Creating value in the wildlife economy

    08.01.2020

    Dr Sue Snyman used studies of southern African protected areas, their tourist facilities, and their communities, to answer questions of why conservation in these African nations makes the wildlife economy valuable (at the Global Wildlife Program annual...

  • Map of EU Overseas (BEST) territories Map of EU Overseas (BEST) territories Photo: BEST

    The EU Overseas size, diversity, and how these giant needs are BEST addressed

    06.01.2020

    A land mass as big as the entire EU, the largest marine domain on the planet, over 70% of EU species, more than 150 islands, over 20% of the world's coral reefs. This is the EU Overseas. But with great space comes great responsibility. How does BEST (...

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Publications

Learn more

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.

 

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...
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 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...
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