Protected areas in the Arctic

Within the northern circumpolar permafrost region, there are ca. 1300 protected areas.

Most of these areas are terrestrial (1069), while 126 are coastal – defined as partially within the marine environment – and 62 are marine. The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA)[1] includes a wide range of protected areas, including national protected areas recognized by the government, areas designated under regional and international conventions, privately protected areas and indigenous peoples’ and community conserved territories and areas. Greenland is one of the countries with the largest protected terrestrial area (41,0%).

[1] IUCN and UNEP-WCMC (2019), The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) [On-line], [January 2019]. Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC. Available at: