Protected areas are tracts of land and/or sea that are especially established and managed to protect the earth’s biodiversity. In this guide, we use the internationally recognised definition of a protected area (terrestrial, freshwater, and marine) as adopted by IUCN as:‘A clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values’.
This category is further divided in two sub-categories.
- Internationally recognised areas – These include those identified and established by countries under various international and regional level agreements, conventions and programmes. The criteria for identifications of these sites are similar across different countries and some of them are regularly monitored to ensure their adherence to them.
- Nationally designated areas – This sub-category includes a range of terms that refer to areas established under national laws or sub-national institutions that are understood internationally and fall under the various IUCN categories based on management objectives, as well as innovative governance types, such as those governed by indigenous peoples and local communities.
List of Protected Areas: