August update of the WDPA

The total number of protected area records in the August 2017 release of the WDPA is 233,938 comprising of 215,375 polygons and 18,563 point, covering 245 countries and territories.

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Bermuda: Complete update, resulting in the conversion of all seven points to polygons. Additionally, 100 protected area records were removed by the national data provider following a government-led re-evaluation of the alignment of records with the IUCN definition of a protected area.

Gabon: Partial update, resulting in the addition of 29 marine protected areas records, all with defined boundaries and representing a total of 54,340 km². The sites have been newly designated since June 2017, and management plans are under development by the national government agency (Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux).

Cook Islands: Partial update, including the addition of the 1.97 million km2 Marae Moana Marine Park marine protected area. The Marine Park was designated in July 2017 and encompasses the entire Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone. Marae Moana is now the largest protected area in the world.

Ramsar Sites, Wetlands of International Importance: Partial update to Ramsar sites across eight countries, including the addition of 14 records for Brazil, France, Madagascar, Malawi and Myanmar, and 10 updated records for Bermuda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the French Southern Territories. This update is part of a series of updates on Ramsar data within the WDPA, resulting from enhanced data flows between UNEP-WCMC, the Ramsar Secretariat and member states.


Update type



Point converted to polygon









Partial 29
0 0

0 0
Cook Islands
Partial 1
0 0

0 0 0
Brazil Partial 6 0 0 0 0 0 0
Congo, Democratic republic of Partial 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
France Partial 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Madagascar Partial 5 0 0 0 0 0 0
Myanmar Partial 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Malawi Partial 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Added:New feature added in the WDPA (ie. a new WDPAID was created)

Removed : Number of feature removed from the WDPA (ie. a WDPAID was removed from the database)

Updated : Modifications/updates of the geometry or some attributes of existing feature in the WDPA (ie. a feature with an existing WDPAID.

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Map of Protected Areas based upon monthly update

Source: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (2017), Protected Planet: The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) [On-line], August 2017, Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN. Available at:

Citation: UNEP-WCMC (2017). Protected areas map of the world, August 2017. Available at:

Download this map from here.

WDPA Manual

WDPA User Manual: We are pleased to announce that the WDPA User Manual has been translated into French and Spanish. Additionally, the Manual has been updated with an appendix on WDPA Data Contributor Agreements (Appendix 2), and has undergone general updates and edits based on user feedback. Version 1.4 of the User Manual is now available in three languages through the geodatabase download above and via the following links:




Summary of current data in preparation:

The data set status is defined as either:
1) New data set received, 2) Under review by UNEP-WCMC, 3) Under validation by data provider or 4) Final approval stages.

Under validation by data provider

Data Set Status
Andorra New Dataset Received
Malawi New Dataset Received
Mozambique New Dataset Received
Argentina (provincial level) Under Validation by Data Provider
Bahamas Under Validation by Data Provider
Bolivia Under Validation by Data Provider
British Virgin Islands Under Validation by Data Provider
Colombia Final approval stages
Ecuador Final approval stages
Lebanon Final approval stages
New Caledonia Under review by UNEP-WCMC
The use of the monthly release data is bound by the Terms and Conditions of Use of the WDPA.