World Commission on Protected Areas

We are the premier network of 2500 experts from 140 countries that mobilizes action in science, conservation, policy, and engagement to support well managed and connected parks and other protected areas


How we engage 

The Commission develops knowledge based policy, advice and guidance on the full suite of issues surrounding protected areas through the establishment of Specialist Groups and Task Forces. We bring together global experts to find solutions for programme priorities, including global protected area standards and Best Practice Guidelines.


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  • IUCN Congress Photo: IUCN Congress

    Candidates for IUCN Council 2020 - 2024


    At the IUCN World Conservation Congress, taking place in Marseille, France, from 11-19 June 2020, IUCN Members will elect a new Council for 2020-24. IUCN is pleased to announce the nominated candidates for the positions of President, Treasurer, Chairs of...

  • Southern Ustyrt Kaplankyr, Kazakhstan Southern Ustyrt Kaplankyr, Kazakhstan  Photo: Mark Pestov

    Cold Winter Deserts of Central Asia among potential World Heritage sites, new IUCN report finds


    Cold Winter Deserts in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are among six globally significant biodiversity sites in Central Asia that could potentially qualify for World Heritage status, according to a new report launched today by IUCN, the official...

  • Milky Way over Valla de Aburra and Medellin Milky Way over Valla de Aburra and Medellin Photo: CC Jaramillo

    The untapped power of local protected areas, in South America


    Home grown success: local-level protected and conserved areas are proven to be as effective in biodiversity conservation as many national-level formal protected area designations.   In many cases they offer more depth in terms of ecosystem services...

protected planet

Discover the World's Protected Areas


Wilderness Best Practice Guidelines 25 Photo: IUCN WCPA

Best Practice Guidelines

Global Guidelines for protected area practitioners


PARKS Special Issue on OECMS June 2018 Photo: IUCN Parks Journal

The International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation

Learn more

Grouper in Caribbean Marine Protected Area. Photo: Craig Dahlgren

Green List

The IUCN WCPA Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas Specialist Group will contribute to fostering an IUCN Green List Community within WCPA and across the Union that works to develop and support the IUCN Green List as a major IUCN initiative to improve the management of protected...
mexico_disaster4.jpg Photo:

Natural Solutions

THe IUCN WCPA Natural Solutions Theme promotes and develops the potential for protected areas to deliver a range of ecosystem services.


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