A wide variety of approaches for classification of areas for protection and conservation of biodiversity exist. Drawing from different systems of categorisation, in this A-Z guide, we have grouped various areas of biodiversity importance into two broad categories, that are further subdivided into two sub-categories.
There is likely to be considerable overlap between and within these categories. For example, many of the regional-scale priority areas will contain protected areas and site-scale priority areas of different types, and protected areas can also overlap considerably with the site-scale priority areas. In some cases, the exact same boundary could be both a protected area and a site-scale priority area as is the case for some Key Biodiversity Areas. Many of the internationally recognised protected areas are also likely to be nationally designated whereby it can be assigned a particular IUCN protected area category and also be under a particular form of governance. World heritage Sites for example, require legal protection at the national level.