Terrestrial protected areas (% of total land area) - Country Ranking

Definition: Terrestrial protected areas are totally or partially protected areas of at least 1,000 hectares that are designated by national authorities as scientific reserves with limited public access, national parks, natural monuments, nature reserves or wildlife sanctuaries, protected landscapes, and areas managed mainly for sustainable use. Marine areas, unclassified areas, littoral (intertidal) areas, and sites protected under local or provincial law are excluded.

Source: World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) where the compilation and management is carried out by United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) in collaboration with governments, non-governmental organizations, academia and ind

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 New Caledonia 54.40 2018
2 Venezuela 54.14 2018
3 Slovenia 53.62 2018
4 Bhutan 48.01 2018
5 Brunei 46.87 2018
6 Seychelles 42.09 2018
7 Hong Kong SAR, China 41.88 2018
8 Greenland 41.15 2018
9 Luxembourg 40.87 2018
10 Congo 40.74 2018
11 Poland 39.65 2018
12 Croatia 38.25 2018
13 Tanzania 38.15 2018
14 Namibia 37.89 2018
15 Zambia 37.87 2018
16 Germany 37.75 2018
17 Belize 37.68 2018
18 Slovak Republic 37.63 2018
19 Nicaragua 37.23 2018
20 The Bahamas 36.63 2018
21 Guinea 35.65 2018
22 Greece 35.22 2018
23 Bulgaria 34.70 2018
24 Monaco 33.16 2018
25 New Zealand 32.55 2018
26 Bolivia 30.87 2018
27 Morocco 30.78 2018
28 Trinidad and Tobago 30.59 2018
29 Malta 30.29 2018
30 Sri Lanka 29.86 2018
31 Benin 29.62 2018
32 Brazil 29.42 2018
33 Japan 29.39 2018
34 São Tomé and Principe 29.26 2018
35 Botswana 29.14 2018
36 United Kingdom 28.68 2018
37 Austria 28.40 2018
38 Spain 28.07 2018
39 Palau 28.00 2018
40 Togo 27.62 2018
41 Costa Rica 27.60 2018
42 Zimbabwe 27.21 2018
43 Andorra 26.73 2018
44 Dominican Republic 26.24 2018
45 Cambodia 26.03 2018
46 France 25.79 2018
47 Senegal 25.35 2018
48 Romania 24.46 2018
49 Honduras 23.89 2018
50 Nepal 23.63 2018
51 Belgium 23.29 2018
52 Armenia 23.11 2018
53 Portugal 22.90 2018
54 Côte d'Ivoire 22.88 2018
55 Malawi 22.88 2018
56 Hungary 22.60 2018
57 Gabon 22.44 2018
58 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 22.42 2018
59 Kiribati 22.36 2018
60 Tajikistan 22.28 2018
61 Czech Republic 22.16 2018
62 Dominica 21.99 2018
63 Ecuador 21.69 2018
64 Mozambique 21.59 2018
65 Italy 21.54 2018
66 Peru 21.31 2018
67 Panama 20.89 2018
68 Chad 20.35 2018
69 Estonia 20.22 2018
70 Guatemala 20.05 2018
71 Israel 19.95 2018
72 Equatorial Guinea 19.27 2018
73 Australia 19.27 2018
74 Malaysia 19.12 2018
75 Thailand 18.81 2018
76 St. Lucia 18.75 2018
77 Cyprus 18.65 2018
78 Antigua and Barbuda 18.57 2018
79 Chile 18.49 2018
80 Ethiopia 18.47 2018
81 Latvia 18.17 2018
82 Iceland 18.15 2018
83 Denmark 18.10 2018
84 Central African Republic 18.06 2018
85 United Arab Emirates 17.95 2018
86 Albania 17.74 2018
87 Mongolia 17.71 2018
88 Kuwait 17.50 2018
89 Niger 17.32 2018
90 Norway 17.11 2018
91 Lithuania 17.02 2018
92 Lao PDR 16.68 2018
93 Guinea-Bissau 16.66 2018
94 Cuba 16.55 2018
95 Uganda 16.06 2018
96 Jamaica 15.92 2018
97 Tonga 15.91 2018
98 China 15.45 2018
99 Philippines 15.32 2018
100 Ghana 15.06 2018
101 Finland 15.02 2018
102 Burkina Faso 14.92 2018
103 Sweden 14.88 2018
104 Colombia 14.81 2018
105 Suriname 14.52 2018
106 Mexico 14.50 2018
107 Ireland 14.44 2018
108 Paraguay 14.31 2018
109 Nigeria 13.93 2018
110 Dem. Rep. Congo 13.83 2018
111 Qatar 13.23 2018
112 Egypt 13.14 2018
113 Timor-Leste 13.06 2018
114 United States 12.99 2018
115 Kenya 12.36 2018
116 Pakistan 12.31 2018
117 Indonesia 12.17 2018
118 Liechtenstein 11.94 2018
119 Korea 11.67 2018
120 Netherlands 11.24 2018
121 Cayman Islands 10.76 2018
122 Cameroon 10.60 2018
123 Azerbaijan 10.16 2018
124 Comoros 10.15 2018
125 Grenada 9.78 2018
126 Russia 9.73 2018
127 Canada 9.69 2018
128 Switzerland 9.67 2018
129 North Macedonia 9.65 2018
130 Sierra Leone 9.39 2018
131 Belarus 9.35 2018
132 Rwanda 9.11 2018
133 Argentina 8.81 2018
134 El Salvador 8.78 2018
135 Guyana 8.74 2018
136 Iran 8.61 2018
137 Georgia 8.33 2018
138 Mali 8.23 2018
139 South Africa 8.00 2018
140 Tunisia 7.91 2018
141 Burundi 7.59 2018
142 Vietnam 7.58 2018
143 Algeria 7.50 2018
144 Samoa 7.35 2018
145 Puerto Rico 7.27 2018
146 Angola 6.97 2018
147 Kyrgyz Republic 6.70 2018
148 Bahrain 6.62 2018
149 Serbia 6.61 2018
150 Montenegro 6.40 2018
151 Myanmar 6.37 2018
152 India 5.97 2018
153 Madagascar 5.59 2018
154 Singapore 5.55 2018
155 Fiji 5.41 2018
156 Eritrea 4.87 2018
157 Saudi Arabia 4.76 2018
158 Mauritius 4.73 2018
159 Bangladesh 4.61 2018
160 Eswatini 4.23 2018
161 Vanuatu 4.20 2018
162 Moldova 4.15 2018
163 The Gambia 4.11 2018
164 Liberia 4.05 2018
165 Ukraine 3.99 2018
166 Uruguay 3.45 2018
167 Uzbekistan 3.38 2018
168 St. Kitts and Nevis 3.32 2018
169 Kazakhstan 3.31 2018
170 Turkmenistan 3.25 2018
171 Papua New Guinea 3.07 2018
172 Cabo Verde 2.90 2018
173 Lebanon 2.60 2018
174 Oman 2.57 2018
175 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 2.44 2018
176 Sudan 2.28 2018
177 Solomon Islands 2.21 2018
178 Tuvalu 1.95 2018
179 Haiti 1.95 2018
180 Jordan 1.77 2018
181 Djibouti 1.57 2018
182 Iraq 1.53 2018
183 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.40 2018
184 Barbados 1.27 2018
185 Somalia 0.83 2016
186 Yemen 0.77 2018
187 Syrian Arab Republic 0.69 2018
188 Mauritania 0.62 2018
189 Lesotho 0.26 2018
190 Turkey 0.22 2018
191 Libya 0.21 2018
192 Afghanistan 0.10 2018

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Development Relevance: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines a protected area as "a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values." Terrestrial protected areas are totally or partially protected areas of at least 1,000 hectares that are designated by national authorities as scientific reserves with limited public access, national parks, natural monuments, nature reserves or wildlife sanctuaries, protected landscapes, and areas managed mainly for sustainable use. Nationally protected terrestrial are terrestrial areas as a percentage of total territorial area, where all nationally designated protected areas with known location and extent are included. As threats to biodiversity mount, the international community is increasingly focusing on conserving diversity. Deforestation is a major cause of loss of biodiversity, and habitat conservation is vital for stemming this loss. Conservation efforts have focused on protecting areas of high biodiversity. Increasing the proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected helps defend vulnerable plant and animal species and safeguard biodiversity. Protected areas remain the fundamental building blocks of virtually all national and international conservation strategies, supported by governments and international institutions. They provide the core of efforts to protect the world's threatened species and are increasingly recognized as essential providers of ecosystem services and biological resources. Some sites are owned and managed by governments, others by private individuals, companies, communities and faith groups. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address concerns common to all economies. In recognition of the vulnerability of animal and plant species, SDGs include targets 14 and 15 to highlight the importance of marine and terrestorial protected areas. Increasing the proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected helps defend vulnerable plant and animal species and safeguard biodiversity.

Limitations and Exceptions: The data source for this indicator is the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), the most comprehensive global dataset on marine and terrestrial protected areas available. The extent to which the land areas, including inland waters, and territorial waters of a country/territory are protected is useful for planning purpose to protect biodiversity. However, it is neither an indication of how well managed the terrestrial and marine protected areas are, nor confirmation that protection measures are effectively enforced. Further, the indicator does not provide information on non-designated or internationally designated protected areas that may also be important for conserving biodiversity. There are known data and knowledge gaps for some countries/regions due to difficulties in reporting national protected area data to the WDPA and/or determining whether a site conforms to the IUCN definition of a protected area. Gaps and/or time lags in reporting national protected area data to the WDPA can however result in discrepancies, which are resolved in communication with data providers. The World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) compiles data on protected areas, numbers of certain species, and numbers of those species under threat from various sources. Because of differences in definitions, reporting practices, and reporting periods, cross-country comparability is limited. Due to variations in consistency and methods of collection, data quality is highly variable across countries. Some countries update their information more frequently than others, some have more accurate data on extent of coverage, and many underreport the number or extent of protected areas.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: This indicator is calculated using all the nationally designated protected areas recorded in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) whose location and extent is known. The WDPA database is stored within a Geographic Information System (GIS) that stores information about protected areas such as their name, type and date of designation, documented area, geographic location (point) and/or boundary (polygon). Designating an area as protected does not mean that protection is in force. And for small countries that have only protected areas smaller than 1,000 hectares, the size limit in the definition leads to an underestimate of protected areas. Nationally protected areas are defined using the six IUCN management categories for areas of at least 1,000 hectares: scientific reserves and strict nature reserves with limited public access; national parks of national or international significance and not materially affected by human activity; natural monuments and natural landscapes with unique aspects; managed nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries; protected landscapes (which may include cultural landscapes); and areas managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural systems to ensure long-term protection and maintenance of biological diversity. A GIS analysis is used to calculate terrestrial and marine protection. For this a global protected area layer is created by combining the polygons and points recorded in the WDPA. Circular buffers are created around points based on the known extent of protected areas for which no polygon is available. Annual protected area layers are created by dissolving the global protected area layer by the known year of establishment of protected areas recorded in the WDPA. The annual protected area layers are overlaid with country/territory boundaries, coastlines and buffered coastlines (delineating the territorial waters) to obtain the absolute coverage (in square kilometers) of protected areas by country/territory. The total area of a country's/territory's terrestrial protected areas and marine protected areas in territorial waters is divided by the total area of its land areas (including inland waters) and territorial waters to obtain the relative coverage (percentage) of protected areas.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Restricted use: Please contact the Protected Planet for third-party use of these data.