Protected Areas

IUCN Green List

The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas (the ‘IUCN Green List Standard’) is a new global standard for protected areas in the 21st Century. In line with IUCN’s core mission of ‘A just world that values and conserves nature’ the aim of the IUCN Green List Standard is to improve the contribution that equitably governed and effectively managed protected areas make to sustainable development through the conservation of nature and provision of associated social, economic, cultural, and spiritual values.

IUCN Green List



Read the IUCN Green List brochure:





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Access the IUCN Green List Standard or IUCN Green List User Manual, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and use the #IUCNGreenList hashtag! 

The IUCN Green List objectives

Protected areas are a universal approach to nature conservation, present in all countries, for both land and sea. Conserving nature is essential for the future of humanity by securing the persistence of natural diversity that supports human life. Well-governed, well-designed and well-managed protected areas are our most effective tool for conserving nature, and provide a wide range of ecological, socio-economic, cultural and spiritual benefits.

The IUCN Green List Standard and its supporting implementation programme aims to encourage, achieve, and promote effective, equitable and successful protected areas in all partner countries and jurisdictions. The overarching objective of the programme is to increase the number of protected and conserved areas that are effectively and equitably managed and deliver conservation outcomes.

This high-level objective will be reached through a set of underlying objectives:

  1. To ensure that the IUCN Green List Standard provides a suitable measure for strengthening conservation outcomes and improving equitable and effective management of protected and conserved areas
  2. To position the IUCN Green List Standard programme as an accessible channel for conservation capacity-development for protected and conserved areas
  3. To promote collaboration and investment in implementing effective and equitable conservation management in protected and conserved areas committed to the IUCN Green List Standard.

At the heart of the IUCN Green List Standard programme is the globally applicable Standard. It describes a set of Components, Criteria, and Indicators for successful conservation in protected areas and thereby provides an international benchmark for quality that motivates improved performance and achievement of conservation objectives. By committing to meet this standard, site managers seek to demonstrate and maintain performance and deliver real nature conservation results.

The objective of the Standard is:

To encourage protected and conserved areas to measure, improve and maintain their performance through globally consistent criteria that benchmark good governance, sound design and planning, effective management, and successful conservation outcomes.

Overview of the main elements of the IUCN GLPCA Theory of Change

Overview of the main elements of the IUCN GLPCA Theory of Change


  1. The Green List Standard
  2. The Standard implementation and User Manual
  3. The Green List areas
  4. Fair Finance for Effective Conservation

And Explore IUCN Green List sites on Protected Planet

If you wish to learn more about how to join the Green List programme, contact Deviah Aiama.

To contact the WCPA Green List Specialist Group Leader, write Marc Hockings.

More Green List web pages:



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