Protected areas
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Protected areas: UNEP-WCMC World Database on Protected Areas January 2017 release

Marine Boundaries: VLIZ Exclusive Economic Zones, v8 (2014) full resolution.

Country Boundaries: ESRI World Countries, (first published 2013, last updated 2016)

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 Dataset documentation

This dataset answers the questions: how extensive are protected areas and what management objectives are pursued via protected area designation?

This dataset provides country-level protected area coverage for the terrestrial and marine domains calculated from the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). It includes a disaggregation by IUCN management category in the following ways:

  • Protected area, total for category is the total area protected under that IUCN management designation. Note that because overlaps among protected areas are relatively common, the total protected area for a country is typically less than the sum of the disaggregated areas.
  • Protected area, erased against precedent categories treats the IUCN categories as a hierarchy and reports the area protected under each designation excluding any area which is already designated at a precedent category in the hierarchy. The order of precedence used is Ia>Ib>II>III>IV>V>VI>No category. The total protected area is equal to the sum of the disaggregated areas. 

Some countries have some protected areas recorded as points with a reported area. This point data is more uncertain than protected areas reported as polygons because overlaps cannot be identified or resolved. For this reason the total for countries is provided with and without the inclusion of the total reported area of protected areas recorded as points.

For some OECD countries, results are also provided for that country including affiliated territories overseas. These are coded as 'Country unspecified' in the list of available countries.

A more complete description of the methodology and motivation for this dataset is available here:  

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/indicators-on-terrestrial-and-marine-protected-areas_e0796071-en

Protected areasData source(s) used

Protected areas: UNEP-WCMC World Database on Protected Areas January 2017 release

Marine Boundaries: VLIZ Exclusive Economic Zones, v8 (2014) full resolution.

Country Boundaries: ESRI World Countries, (first published 2013, last updated 2016)

Key statistical concept

 Dataset documentation

This dataset answers the questions: how extensive are protected areas and what management objectives are pursued via protected area designation?

This dataset provides country-level protected area coverage for the terrestrial and marine domains calculated from the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). It includes a disaggregation by IUCN management category in the following ways:

  • Protected area, total for category is the total area protected under that IUCN management designation. Note that because overlaps among protected areas are relatively common, the total protected area for a country is typically less than the sum of the disaggregated areas.
  • Protected area, erased against precedent categories treats the IUCN categories as a hierarchy and reports the area protected under each designation excluding any area which is already designated at a precedent category in the hierarchy. The order of precedence used is Ia>Ib>II>III>IV>V>VI>No category. The total protected area is equal to the sum of the disaggregated areas. 

Some countries have some protected areas recorded as points with a reported area. This point data is more uncertain than protected areas reported as polygons because overlaps cannot be identified or resolved. For this reason the total for countries is provided with and without the inclusion of the total reported area of protected areas recorded as points.

For some OECD countries, results are also provided for that country including affiliated territories overseas. These are coded as 'Country unspecified' in the list of available countries.

A more complete description of the methodology and motivation for this dataset is available here:  

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/indicators-on-terrestrial-and-marine-protected-areas_e0796071-en