• Protected Areas

    Protected areas have long played a crucial role in protecting natural landscapes and wildlife, and many consider them to be one of the most effective tools in protecting biodiversity. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) officially defines a protected area as ' a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values'. Protected areas also play a key role in preserving the benefits that nature brings to people, often referred to as 'ecosystem services'. They come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from strict nature reserves where only scientific research is permitted, to areas that allow natural resources to be used. The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global database of marine and terrestrial protected areas.

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