OECMs complement protected areas through sustained, positive conservation outcomes, even though they may be managed primarily for other reasons. They are documented in the World Database on OECMs.Explore OECMs
OECMs complement protected areas through sustained, positive conservation outcomes, even though they may be managed primarily for other reasons. In 2018, the governments of the world adopted the following definition of an OECM:
“A geographically defined area other than a Protected Area, which is governed and managed in ways that achieve positive and sustained long-term outcomes for the insitu conservation of biodiversity, with associated ecosystem functions and services and where applicable, cultural, spiritual, socio–economic, and other locally relevant values” (CBD, 2018)
Because this definition was only recently adopted, most countries have not yet provided data to the World Database on OECMs. Importantly, this does not mean that no OECMs exist in those countries. OECMs will often be pre-existing measures that have not historically been recognised for their conservation values, ranging from Sacred Natural Sites to some military zones. The challenge for governments and other stakeholders will be in identifying OECMs, and supporting them to maintain their conservation benefits in the long term.
IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) has provided guidance on recognising OECMs.
The World Database on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures
From this page you can download and explore the World Database on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (WD-OECM), first published in December 2019.
Users should note the following points before using the WD-OECM:
Although the amount of data in the WD-OECM is limited, it provides a first indication of the dramatic impact that documenting OECMs may have on conservation networks around the world. While increasing the coverage of area-based conservation measures is important, it is essential that OECMs are identified in accordance with CBD and IUCN-WCPA guidance, and that they are appropriately supported and incentivised, enabling them to maintain the long-term conservation benefits for which they are recognised.
We look forward to working with governments and other data-providers to expand the WD-OECM. Please get in touch if you have data you would like to contribute: [email protected]
Guidance on providing data
Guidance on providing OECM data: English
Guidance on providing OECM data: Français
The WD-OECM is a joint project between UN Environment Programme and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The compilation and management of the WDPA is carried out by UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), in collaboration with governments, non-governmental organisations, academia and industry.
Alongside the WDPA, the WD-OECM is used to provide indicators of progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and the Sustainable Development Goals, and informs the Protected Planet Report series.
While the WDPA has a long history, the WD-OECM was only established in 2019. UNEP-WCMC is working with governments and other stakeholders to build the database, but extensive efforts will be needed before it is as complete as the WDPA.
For more details on the WD-OECM please read through the User Manual.
284,133 Protected Areas
The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global database on terrestrial and marine protected areas.
19,963 Protected Areas
Comprising many thousands of assessments of how well a protected area is being managed – primarily the extent to which it is protecting values and achieving goals and objectives.
OECMs complement protected areas through sustained, positive conservation outcomes, even though they may be managed primarily for other reasons. They are documented in the World Database on OECMs.
The ICCA Registry website is an online information platform for territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCAs), where communities themselves provide data, case studies, maps, photos and stories.
128 Protected 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.
Beyond protected and conserved areas what is the contribution of ecological corridors to achieving global conservation goals?
Equity relates to how fairly a protected area is governed: who has a say in decisions, how decisions are taken, and how the costs and benefits are shared.
18,384 Protected Areas
Over 70% of the surface of Earth is ocean, comprised of highly diverse ecosystems, and providing a wide range of marine ecosystem services that support human society, health and the economy. This website presents the most recent official coverage statistics for marine protected areas.
Tracking progress towards global targets for protected and conserved areas