Protected Areas

Protected areas
Photo: Paula Caballero


Unlocking the potential of protected areas, including indigenous and community conserved areas, to conserve biodiversity while contributing towards sustainable development.



Recognizing the potential of protected areas to support human development, UNDP works to unlock the potential of terrestrial and marine protected area systems so they are effectively managed and sustainably financed, and contribute to sustainable development. Countries are assisted to establish governance frameworks that strategically expand and strengthen the management and financing of protected areas at the systems level, promoting co-management with local communities to maximize effectiveness and economic benefits. This work strengthens the rights of these communities to sustainable use of resources, while developing their capacity to fulfill their responsibilities. It will also support indigenous and community conserved areas, promoting secure land tenure and effective management. Expansion of protected area systems will increase tourism revenues, business development and job opportunities. Sustainable financing will be promoted so that protected areas can continue to generate inclusive growth, while protecting threatened species and eco-regions, acting as a buffer against climate change-related disasters, and maintaining a supply of clean water. New marine and coastal protected areas will help maintain and rebuild fish stocks on which the livelihoods of coastal communities depend.

UNDP is committed to supporting governments in designing protected area policies and programmes that:

  • Strengthen the ability of protected areas to maintain and enhance ecosystem services;
  • Promote access to traditional and innovative financial mechanisms for protected areas; and
  • Enable protected areas to secure local and sustainable livelihoods.