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Policy support tool

Protected Planet

Aim of the resource

Protected Planet enables a spectrum of users to use existing protected area data for information-based decision making, policy development, and business and conservation planning. Businesses in a range of sectors including mining, oil and gas, and finance can use WDPA data to identify biodiversity risks and opportunities of a given project. Conservation planners can use the information to predict the outcomes of various proposals and focus on initiatives and areas that are most likely to result in positive impacts. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) uses the Millennium Challenge Corporation's (MCC) annual policy performance scorecards to inform decisions on allocations on funds; MCC uses the WDPA in its indicator to measure the effectiveness of policies related to Natural Resource Protection. Every two years, UNEP-WCMC releases the Protected Planet Report on the status of the world's protected areas and recommendations on how to meet international goals and targets.

Using the resource
Potential benefits from using the resource
Users can access statistics and other information on specific countries, and compare between countries
Protected Planet provides the basis for monitoring and reporting on progress towards international environmental targets such as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
The WDPA stores information on protected areas under all governance types, including privately protected areas, and protected areas under the governance of indigenous peoples and local communities
Practical information
Development stage:
Full, working product
Contact details

Protected Planet is the online visual interface for the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), a joint project of IUCN and UN Environment. It is the most comprehensive global database on terrestrial and marine protected areas based on data that has been compiled since 1981 working with governments and NGOs. The visual interface reconciles governmental, expert and general public opinions on protected areas. Protected Planet is the most up to date and complete source of information on protected areas, updated monthly with submissions from governments, non-governmental organizations, landowners and communities. It is managed by the United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) with support from IUCN and its World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).


Subregions covered