WDPA Lookup tables

The WDPA has multiple fields which contain a series of accepted values. These fields can be found below:

IUCN Management Categories

IUCN protected area management categories classify protected areas according to their management objectives.

Accepted Values
Ia Category Ia are strictly protected areas set aside to protect biodiversity and also possibly geological/geomorphological features, where human visitation, use and impacts are strictly controlled and limited to ensure protection of the conservation values. Such protected areas can serve as indispensable reference areas for scientific research and monitoring.
Ib Category Ib protected areas are usually large unmodified or slightly modified areas, retaining their natural character and influence, without permanent or significant human habitation, which are protected and managed so as to preserve their natural condition.
II Category II protected areas are large natural or near natural areas set aside to protect large-scale ecological processes, along with the complement of species an ecosystems characteristic of the area, which also provide a foundation for environmentally and culturally compatible spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities.
III Category III protected areas are set aside to protect a specific natural monument, which can be a landform, sea mount, submarine cavern, geological feature such as a cave or even a living feature such as an ancient grove. They are generally quite small protected areas and often have high visitor value.
IV Category IV protected areas aim to protect particular species or habitats and management reflects this priority. Many category IV protected areas will need regular, active interventions to address the requirements of particular species or to maintain habitats, but this is not a requirement of the category.
V A protected area where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character with significant ecological, biological, cultural and scenic value: and where safeguarding the integrity of this interaction is vital to protecting and sustaining the area and its associated nature conservation and other values
VI Category VI protected areas conserve ecosystems and habitats, together with associated cultural values and traditional natural resource management systems. They are generally large, with most of the area in a natural condition, where a proportion is under sustainable natural resource management and where low-level non-industrial use of natural resources compatible with nature conservation is seen as one of the main aims of the area.
Not Reported For protected areas where an IUCN category is unknown and/or the data provider has not provided any related information.
Not Applicable The IUCN Management Categories are not applicable to a specific designation type.
Not Assigned The protected area meets the standard definition of protected areas but the data provider has chosen not to use the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories.

You can download this list with a detailed description of each value as a csv file from here.

For further detail on these management categories and how to apply them please visit the following resources:

Visit the IUCN website page on Management Categories
Download IUCN Management Categories

Designation Type

The designation type is the category or type of protected area as legally/officially designated or proposed.

Accepted Value
National Protected areas designated or proposed at the national or sub-national level.
Regional Protected areas designated or proposed at the regional level.
International Protected areas designated or proposed through international conventions. There are three accepted values in this category: UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve, Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance & World Heritage Site

You can download this list as a csv file from here.

Marine realm

This field describes whether a protected area falls totally or partially, within the marine environment. Protected areas classified as marine within the WDPA can be either completely marine – in a sea, ocean or equivalent – or partially marine – on the coast and intertidal/encompassing part of the sea/ocean. Protected areas encompassing brackish or tidal waters may be classified as marine, but freshwaters areas should not be classified as marine.

Accepted Value
0 The protected area is completely within the terrestrial and/or freshwater environments.
1 The protected area is partially within the marine environment (coastal).
2 The protected area is completely within the marine environment.

You can download this list as a csv file from here.

No Take

No take means that the taking of living or dead natural resources, inclusive of all methods of fishing, extraction, dumping, dredging and construction, is strictly prohibited in all or part of a marine protected area. This is only applicable to protected areas where the field marine = 1 or 2. The objective of a protected area which is no-take is the preservation of the biodiversity and other natural resources and to act as a strictly protected area. No-take zones are also commonly designated within multiple-use marine protected areas.

Accepted Value
For marine protected areas, No Take is listed as to whether all, part or none of the protected area is no take.
For marine protected areas, No Take is listed as to whether all, part or none of the protected area is no take.
For marine protected areas, No Take is listed as to whether all, part or none of the protected area is no take.
Not Reported For marine protected areas, No Take is listed as to whether all, part or none of the protected area is no take.
Not Applicable For non-marine protected areas 'Not Applicable' is listed.

You can download this list as a csv file from here.


All protected areas in the WDPA are either listed as 'Designated', 'Proposed' or 'Established'. Protected areas that have been degazetted are not included within the WDPA. Degazetted areas are those protected areas that are no longer legally protected or recognised, and hence the protected area no longer exists administratively. The status year is the year that the current status of the protected came into force, i.e. the year that it was proposed as a protected area, or the year it was designated as a protected area.

Accepted Value
Is in a process to gain recognition or dedication through legal or other effective means. It should be noted that a site may be managed as a protected area while proposed, as the national legal processes of designation may take a long time.
Only applicable for protected areas designated under the World Heritage Convention.
Only applicable to protected areas designated as Specially Protected Area of Marine Importance under the Barcelona Convention.
Designated Is recognized or dedicated through legal means. Implies specific binding commitment to conservation in the long term.
Established Recognized or dedicated through other effective means. Implies commitment to conservation outcomes in the long term, but not necessarily with legal recognition.

You can download this list as a csv file from here.

Governance Type

Governance is a description of the decision-making structure of a protected area and should describe where the decision-making power of delegating management authority rests. The information provided on governance conforms to the IUCN Governance types described in the IUCN Governance of Protected Areas guidelines. IUCN distinguishes four broad protected area governance types, each with several sub-types (see table below) making a total of 11 types that can be reported to the WDPA.

Accepted Value
Governance Type
Federal or national ministry or agency
Federal or national ministry or agency in charge
Government-delegated management
Government-delegated management (e.g., to an NGO)
Sub-national ministry or agency
Sub-national ministry or agency in charge (e.g., at regional, provincial, municipal level)
Collaborative governance Collaborative governance (through various ways in which diverse actors and institutions work together)
Transboundary governance Transboundary governance (formal arrangements between one or more sovereign States or Territories)
Joint governance Joint governance (pluralist board or other multy-party governing body) B
For-profit organisations Conserved areas established and run by: for-profit organisations (e.g., corporate landowners) C
Individual landowners Conserved areas established and run by: individual landowners C
Non-profit organisations Conserved areas established and run by: non-profit organisations (e.g., NGOs, universities) C
Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples' conserved territories and areas – established and run by indigenous peoples D
Local communities Community conserved areas and territories –established and run by local communities D
Not Reported No governance information reported.

You can download this list as a csv file from here.

Ownership Type

Ownership type is often independent of governance and management structures.It is the individual, organization or group that holds legal or customary ownership or tenure of the land under management.

Accepted Values Description
State Owned by the state
Communal Under communal ownership
Individual landowners Owned/leased by individual landowners
For-profit organisations Owned/leased by for-profit organisations
Non-profit organisations Owned/leased by non-profit organisations
Joint ownership Under joint ownership
Multiple ownership Under multiple ownership
Contested Ownership is contested
Not Reported When ownership type is not known or given by the data provider

You can download this list as a csv file from here.

For further information on the WDPA's fields and accepted values please refer to the most recent version of the WDPA manual.