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Why it works


Protected areas are widely regarded as one of the most successful measures implemented for the conservation of biodiversity. They are a tried and tested approach that has been applied for centuries to conserve nature and associated cultural resources by local communities, indigenous peoples, governments and other organizations.

Local ownership

Natural areas play a crucial role in the lives of the local population, providing resources to many people. Moreover, they are often a main pillar in the communities’ cultural identity. At the same time, overgrazing or overharvesting by local communities may threaten the area. Protected areas that are established and run by local communities respect these values.

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  • Today, there are approximately 200,000 protected areas in the world
  • 13% of the terrestrial surface of the planet is governed by local communities
  • By 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial areas and 10% of marine areas should be protected
  • The 6 IUCN Categories provide international standards for defining and managing protected areas

Protected areas are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. - UN Convention of Biological Diversity



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