Improving protected area networks
With our partners, we are at the forefront of all aspects of protected area work – from planning, establishing, and managing to securing sustainable financing, influencing policy, and ensuring that such areas bring benefits to people.
Our work combines:
- Large-scale conservation strategies to safeguard the world's most important terrestrial, freshwater, and marine places and species
- Field projects in more than 100 countries to establish, restore, and effectively manage protected area networks, protect them from long-term global threats such as climate change, and ensure they bring benefits to people
- Advocacy and policy work
- Partners, including indigenous people, local communities, park managers, local and international NGOs, land owners, governments, universities and research institutes, international organizations, development agencies, business groups, and industry.
For example, well-planned and well-managed protected areas can help to safeguard freshwater and food supplies, reduce poverty, and reduce the impacts of natural disasters.
Still a long way to go
This is an impressive accomplishment – and has contributed enormously to the conservation of many threatened and endangered species and habitats.
But despite this, several problems with the current network of protected areas mean that the world’s biodiversity and natural areas remain under threat.
For example, many habitats, such as marine and freshwater areas, are not well-represented, while many protected areas are too small and isolated to conserve their habitats effectively. In addition, poor management of some protected areas is undermining conservation efforts.
What needs to be done?
Basically, governments need to declare many new protected areas as well as effectively manage existing ones and ensure connectivity between them.