Protected areas and coverage statistics at the country level

1.1. Country coverage statistics

For each country, DOPA shows coverage statistics using all of the information available from the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), as well as for a subset based on all protected areas found in the WDPA that are at least as large as 50 km2. The reason for this additional analysis is that our applications further show site level indicators for all sites of a surface ≥ 50 km2.

Hence, we have computed for each country

1) the total number of protected areas in the country as reported in the WDPA.
2) the total number of protected areas ≥ 50 km2 in the country
3) the total surface protected in the country (km2 and %)
4) the total surface protected by protected areas ≥ 50 km2 in the country (km2 and %)

5) the total surface of land protected in the country (km2 and %)
6) the total surface of sea protected in the country (km2 and %)

All the above statistics for each IUCN category corresponding to different management categories of protected areas.

1.2. Data Sources

1.2.1. Country borders

For the analyses we used a custom dataset to define the political boundaries, created with the

  1. 1. World Maritime Boundaries, plus the boundaries from the 2015 Global Administrative Unit Layers (GAUL)
  2. 2. Coastlines were entirely defined by the ecoregion definitions (see next section).

1.2.2. The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA)

The boundaries and IUCN management category of the protected area presented come from UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (2017). Protected Planet: The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) [On-line], [October/2017], Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN.

Source: http://www.protectedplanet.net/

DOPA is providing different information on two subsets of protected areas in the WDPA:

  • All designated protected areas of the WDPA with defined boundaries or defined central point locations and a reported area (currently more than 200 000 protected areas) to document overall country and ecoregion statistics. In line with best practice (Juffe-Bignoli et al., 2014), we excluded all protected areas with a “proposed” or “not reported” status from these analyses, and we also excluded the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves because many of their buffer areas do not meet the IUCN protected area definition

  • As a subset of the above, all designated protected areas with defined boundaries and with a surface greater or equal to 100 km2. This subset of more than 20 000protected areas covers more than 95% of the total surface of the global protected area system and is documented in DOPA Explorer 1.0 in more detail at the site level in terms of species, habitats, climate and pressures.

Where applicable, DOPA applications will indicate whether the statistics are derived from all protected areas or from the subset of protected areas that are larger than 50 km2.

The processing of the WDPA requires some significant efforts and the processing steps are described here. See also Bastin et al. (2017).

Reference


Bastin, L., Mandrici, A., Battistella, L., Dubois, G. (2017). Processing conservation indicators with Open Source tools: Lessons learned from the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas. In: Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) Conference Proceedings: Vol 17, Article 14. August 14-19, 2017, Boston, MA, USA. http://scholarworks.umass.edu/foss4g/vol17/iss1/14



Bastin, L., et al. (2017). Processing conservation indicators with Open Source tools: Lessons learned from the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas. In: Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) Conference Proceedings: Vol 17, Article 14. August 14-19, 2017, Boston, MA, USA. http://scholarworks.umass.edu/foss4g/vol17/iss1/14