February 2018 update of the WDPA

The total number of protected area records in the February 2018 release of the WDPA is 236,231 comprising of 217,825 polygons and 18,406 point, covering 245 countries and territories.

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South Africa: Complete update of all national-level protected area records. This update has resulted in an increase in the quality of data for South Africa, including the reclassification of eight biosphere reserves as UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves, which were previously listed as nationally designated protected areas.

Togo: Update of protected areas attribute information for several site.

Myanmar: Complete update of all national-level protected areas. This is the first comprehensive update of Myanmar's protected area records since 2011, resulting in 12 new polygon and four new point records being added to the country's protected area network. The current information stored in the WDPA for Myanmar was also reviewed and updated to ensure an accurate representation of the country's protected areas.

Malawi: Partial update to protected area records for Malawi, resulting in updated boundaries for nine polygon records and updated data for one point record. This is the first update of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves since 2002.

Swaziland: Complete update involving the addition of one polygon record and updated boundaries for 20 polygon records. The new polygon record is for Lomati Nature Reserve (WDPA_ID = 555626094), which represents an area of 6.63 km2.

Finland: Added one new site, Linnunsuo which is a Private Nature Reserve , which is an example of a protected area conserved by a local community in Finland. The site is owned by a local NGO, but managed by the local community in collaboration with a government agency.

Ramsar Sites, Wetlands of International Importance: Addition of new Ramsar sites for France and Poland with updated Rasmar sites for Argentina, Myanmar and Swaziland. 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.

Spain: Update of IUCN Management category and Management Agency for nearly 4,000 sites.

We updated the "Sub Location" (SUB_LOC) field to standardised the field to use just semicolons (removing commas and spaces). We also corrected several errors in the assigning of the "Parent Country" (Parent_ISO3) for example several sites in Greenland were incorrectly attributed.


Update type



Point converted to polygon







South Africa:


Partial 0 0
0 0
Complete 12
13 40
0 4 0
Malawi Partial 0 0 9 0 0 1 0
Swaziland Complete 1 0 20 0 0 0 0
Finland Partial 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Spain: Partial 0 0 3,980 0 0 0 0
Georgia: Partial 0 0 4 0 0 0 0
Ramsar sites Partial 5 0 52 0 0 0 0
UNESCO MAB Partial 2 0 8 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 (2018), Protected Planet: The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) [On-line], February 2018, Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN. Available at: www.protectedplanet.net.

Citation: UNEP-WCMC (2018). Protected areas map of the world, February 2018 Available at: www.protectedplanet.net

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, Spanish and Russian. 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 1.5 of the User Manual is now available in three languages through the geodatabase download above and via the following links:

English: http://wcmc.io/WDPA_Manual

French: http://wcmc.io/WDPA_Manual_FR

Spanish: http://wcmc.io/WDPA_Manual_ES

Russian: http://wcmc.io/WDPA_Manual_RU

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.

Argentina: Under review by UNEP-WCMC

Brazil: New dataset received

Bolivia, Plurinational State of: Under validation by data provider

Colombia: Final approval stages

Ecuador: Final approval stages

Falkands Islands (Malvinas): Under validation by data provider

Honduras: Under review by UNEP-WCMC

Libya: New dataset received

Lithuania: New dataset received

Malaysia: New dataset received

Mexico: Under review by UNEP-WCMC

Mozambique: Under validation by data provider

Peru: New dataset received

Somalia: New dataset received

Tanzania: New dataset received