Protected Areas

Protected Areas

Cornerstones of biodiversity conservation and critical to the achievement of the 2010 biodiversity target and the Millennium Development Goals

What's New

10 December 2023
Statement by David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2023. More »


19 April 2024 (2024-037)
Subregional capacity-building workshop on Target 3 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for Latin American countries, 9 to 13 June 2024 - Costa Rica. More »

Upcoming Meetings

29 July–1 August 2024, Kathmandu, Nepal
Subregional capacity-building workshop on Target 3 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for South Asia. More »


  • Values of protected areas range from the protection of natural habitats and associated flora and fauna, to the maintenance of environmental stability of surrounding regions.
  • Protected areas can provide opportunities for rural development and rational use of marginal lands, generating income and creating jobs, for research and monitoring, for conservation education, and for recreation and tourism.

Programme of Work

  • Establishment and management of protected areas together with conservation, sustainable use and restoration initiatives in the adjacent land and seascape are central to Article 8 on "In-situ Conservation" of the Convention.
  • As a result, all but a few countries have developed systems of protected areas.
  • Globally the number of protected areas has been increasing significantly over the last decade, covering about 12% of the Earth’s land surface, making them one of the Earth’s significant land uses.
  • However, the existing system of protected areas do not cover all biomes and species, requiring protection and they are not fulfilling their biodiversity conservation objectives.
  • In order to address these gaps, COP, in 2004 adopted a programme of work on protected areas with the objective of supporting the establishment and maintenance by 2010 for terrestrial and by 2012 for marine areas of comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative national and regional protected areas that collectively contribute to achieving the 2010 target.(Decision VII/28)


  • During the first phase (2004-2006) of the implementation of the programme of work, progress has been made in the implementation of each of the activities of the programme of work.
  • One of the major impediments for effective implementation of the programme of work is lack of adequate financial resources and technical capacity for developing countries. (COP 8 document CBD/UNEP/COP/8/29)

What's Next

  • The eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties the COP agreed that reporting on progress in the implementation of the programme of work should concentrate on outputs as well as processes to provide for a strategic assessment of progress made, challenges/obstacles and capacity building needs and recognized the importance of organizing regional workshops to review the progress.
  • The COP decided to convene the second meeting of the Working Group on protected areas to evaluate progress and elaborate recommendations to COP for improved implementation.
  • The COP adopted various options for mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of the programme of work and urged Parties to give due consideration to conservation of biodiversity in their national development strategies, including poverty reduction strategies with a view to maximize the mobilization of funding for the implementation of the programme of work.(Decision VIII/24).