The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the largest assembly of data on the world's terrestrial and marine protected areas, containing more than 260,000 protected areas as of August 2020, with records covering 245 countries and territories throughout the world. The WDPA is a joint venture between the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).
Data for the WDPA is collected from international convention secretariats, governments and collaborating NGOs, but the role of custodian is allocated to the Protected Areas Programme of UNEP-WCMC, based in Cambridge, UK, who have hosted the database since its creation in 1981. The WDPA delivers invaluable information to decision-makers around the world, particularly in terms of measuring the extent and effectiveness of protected areas as an indicator for meeting global biodiversity targets. In October 2010, UNEP-WCMC launched the social media-based website Protected Planet, which allows users to interact with and improve the data that is currently recorded on the World Database on Protected Areas.
UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (2020) Marine Protected Planet [On-line], [September, 2020], Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN Available at: www.protectedplanet.net.