The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas

The IUCN Green List is a new global standard for protected areas. The list recognises success in achieving conservation outcomes and measures progress in effective management of protected areas.

Explore Green List and candidate sites
Percent of the world covered by Green Listed protected areas
Green Listed Protected Areas
Total area protected


The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas programme aims to improve the contribution of equitably governed and effectively managed protected areas to nature conservation and sustainable development, through the provision of associated social, economic, cultural, and spiritual values. The overarching objective of the programme is to increase and recognise the number of effectively managed and equitably governed protected and conserved areas, to deliver conservation outcomes.

The Global Standard of the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas provides a global benchmark for how to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. It is also a capacity development tool for protected areas, and helps to identify which aspects of protected and conserved areas need to be strengthened. By focusing efforts on these aspects, it is more likely that success will be achieved.

A protected or conserved area that reaches the IUCN Green List Standard is certified and recognised as achieving ongoing results for people and nature in a fair and effective way. Any site can join, and work its way towards achieving verified success, and then maintain the Standard or further improve.

Any protected and conserved area that gains ‘Green List’ status demonstrates:

  • Respect: for the local community through fair and meaningful engagement of rights-holders and stakeholders
  • Design: planning that identifies the needs to secure the important values of the area
  • Effective management: monitoring of the status of these important values
  • Successful conservation results: for nature and for people
  • Clear contribution: to climate change responses, health and well-being and other challenges
  • For more information about the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas and the associated global Standard, visit the IUCN Green List Website.

    More than 50 countries have signed up to implement the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas.

    Protected Planet provides information about sites that have:

  • Signed up to work towards the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas.
  • Site managers at these sites have committed to implement the Standard for the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Area and are at varying stages of implementation. Following successful implementation of the Standard across all four of its components, the sites will be nominated for Green List Status.

  • Green Listed sites – Protected and conserved areas that has achieved the standard and certification.
  • The sites that were evaluated according to the IUCN Standard for the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas and demonstrated fair and transparent sharing of the costs and benefits of conservation, effective management and long-lasting conservation outcomes.

    Percentage of Protected Areas that are Green Listed

    Due to the vast scale of the global protected and conserved area network the proportion that has been Green Listed remains relatively small for now.

    • % of Protected Area Coverage that is Green Listed
    • % of Protected Area Coverage

    Growth in Green Listed Protected Areas

    Despite still being comparatively few in number the area covered by Green Listed protected and conserved areas continues to increase at a significant rate.

    Top 10 Size Distribution of Green Listed Protected Areas

    Green Listed protected and conserved areas are also currently still spatially hetereogenous - focussed on a handful of countries and territories.

    Green Listed Protected Areas (58)

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    Thematic Areas

    Protected Planet Report 2020

    Tracking progress towards global targets for protected and conserved areas

    Explore Report