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Global Protected Area Partnerships

There are many global initiatives that provide information, resources and tools for practitioners at protected areas. Due to the nature of these initiatives, they tend to be broad-scale and do not necessarily hold information about many of the smaller protected areas such as those in the Pacific where many protected areas fall under local indigenous conservation and management. However, some of these global networks and partnerships provide practitioners with tools that can be adapted for use anywhere. You may also find that there are training, funding and other opportunities that can help you with efforts in your own location. 
Below are descriptions of some global protected area networks and partnerships providing information and support to practitioners around the world.  There are also a large number of other networks and partnerships that can provide conservation and technical assistance in various forms.


Alliance for Zero Extinction

Alliance for Zero Extinction

Formed in 2000 and launched globally in 2005, the Alliance for Zero Extinction(AZE) engages 88 non-governmental biodiversity conservation organizations working to prevent species extinctions by identifying and safeguarding the places where species evaluated to be Endangered or Critically Endangered under IUCN-World Conservation Union criteria are restricted to single remaining sites. The map below shows 587 sites for 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers, and reef-building corals, providing a tool to defend against many of the most predictable species losses.

Big Ocean

Established in 2010, Big Ocean is a network of managers and partners of existing and proposed large-scale marine managed areas (MMAs). The network aims to improve the effectiveness of management efforts, to serve as a peer learning resource and support system, and to build the professional standards of practice for this emerging genre of marine conservation.

Birdlife International - Pacific

Birdlife International Pacific is a partnership of independent organisations working together as one for nature and people.  We create action through insight. Through our expertise on birds we act for nature and people. Through sharing local challenges we find lasting global solutions.  Birdlife International is active in more than 120 countries worldwide.

Blue Solutions

Blue Solutions

Blue Solutions are….
…innovative concepts and practical approaches that inspire and facilitate action towards healthy and productive marine and coastal ecosystems

The Blue Solutions Project provides….
…a global platform to collate, share and generate knowledge and capacity for sustainable management and equitable governance of our blue planet

Through this project, we

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF)

CPF promotes sustainable management of all types of forests and strengthens long-term political commitment to this end.

Common Oceans - Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ)

Common Oceans

Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) are those areas of ocean for which no one nation has sole responsibility for management. They are the common oceans that make up 40% of the surface of our planet, comprising 64% of the surface of the oceans and nearly 95% of its volume.

The ABNJ comprise the high seas and the seabed beyond the (extended) continental shelf of coastal States and include complex ecosystems at vast distances from coasts, making sustainable management of fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation in those areas difficult and challenging.

Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP)

The Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) is a partnership of conservation organizations that seek better ways to design, manage, and measure the impacts of their conservation actions. CMP members work together on issues related to impact assessment and accountability because collectively we have a greater chance of designing and implementing effective monitoring and evaluation systems and ultimately, enhancing program and project design and implementation. CMP strives to promote innovation in monitoring and evaluation of conservation efforts, serving as a catalyst within the conservation community.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

As an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, CMS provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

French Marine Protected Areas Agency (Agence des aires marines protégées)

Future Earth Coasts

Future Earth Coasts

Who we are:

Future Earth Coasts is the new name for the longstanding Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) project.

The goal of LOICZ was “to provide the knowledge, understanding and prediction needed to allow coastal communities to assess, anticipate and respond to the interaction of global change and local pressures which determine coastal change.”

Global Biodiversity Information Facility

Global Biodiversity Information Facility

What is GBIF? Presentation

Science Review Compiling the year’s research uses of data accessed through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2014 (

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international open data infrastructure, funded by governments.

Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)

The GCRMN works through a global network of stakeholders to support the management and conservation of coral reefs.

Global Environment Facility

Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided $14.5 billion in grants and mobilized $75.4 billion in additional financing for almost 4,000 projects. The GEF has become an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations, and private sector to address global environmental issues.

Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)

Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)

Promoting action for island conservation and sustainable livelihoods by inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and facilitating collaboration among all islands.

Global Ocean Commission

Global Partnership on Marine Litter

Global Partnership on Marine Litter - Factsheet

What is the Global Partnership on Marine Litter ?

Litter is found in all the world's oceans and seas, even in remote areas far from human contact and obvious sources of the problem. The continuous growth in the amount of solid waste thrown away, and the very slow rate of degradation of most items, are together leading to a gradual increase in marine litter found at sea, on the sea floor and coastal shores. It is an economic, environmental, human health and aesthetic problem posing a complex and multi-dimensional challenge.

Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities

The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) is the only global intergovernmental mechanism directly addressing the connectivity between terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.


GPA aims to be a source of conceptual and practical guidance to be drawn upon by national and/or regional authorities for devising and implementing sustained action to prevent, reduce, control and/or eliminate marine degradation from land-based activities.

Global Sharks and Rays Initiative

Global Priorities for Conserving Sharks and Rays: A 2015–2025 Strategy

The Global Strategy for the Conservation of Sharks and Rays (2015–2025) is the product of an intensive 18-month strategic planning process incorporating extensive data analysis and synthesis, including a set of background documents, several technical workshops, and ongoing consultation and review.


Global Transboundary Conservation Network (IUCN-WCPA)

The Global Transboundary Conservation Network brings together more than 200 experts in transboundary conservation. The network was launched at the Vth International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress and is facilitated by the Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group of IUCN's World Commision for Protected Areas (WCPA).

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Our Environmental Conservation Program balances long-term conservation with sustainable use. We protect critical ecosystems. We establish models for collaboration that can be replicated and expanded around the globe. And we seek to create lasting change in how land, freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems are managed.

Green Climate Fund

Green Climate Fund

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. The human impact on our planet is unprecedented. Long-term changes in the earth’s climate system are significant. The Green Climate Fund was established with a mission to advance the goal of keeping the temperature increase on our home planet below 2 degrees Celsius. 

High Seas Alliance

The High Seas Alliance is a cooperative initiative of groups and organizations concerned with protecting the high seas — the regions of the world's ocean that are beyond national jurisdiction. Our mission is to conserve the world's high seas - which cover half of our planet.

Indigenous Peoples' and Community Conserved Areas and Territories Consortium

The ICCA Consortium (established at a gathering during the 4th World Conservation Congress in 2008) is an international association dedicated to promoting the appropriate recognition of and support to ICCAs (Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories) in the regional, national and global arena.



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has expanded access to information on multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) through the online portal, InforMEA, which houses information on more than 60 treaties, 10,000 conference of the parties (COP) decisions, 5,000 national reports, 500 national plans, 3,700 national contacts, 3,000 websites and over 500 searchable terms.

Initiative Française pour les Récifs Coralliens (IFRECOR); International Coral Reef Initiative

IFRECOR is an informal partnership among nations and organizations which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world.

International Maritime Organization

International Maritime Organization

IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

A​​s a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

IUCN - International Union for the Conservation of Nature

International Union for the Conservation of Nature

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

Our work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

MARE - Marine Affairs Research and Education

Marine Affairs Research and Education (MARE) is a unique organization. With clients in more than 120 countries, it is dedicated to serving coastal and marine resource managers worldwide with programs to help them network with their peers, no matter their location or financial means.

By allowing incomparable peer-to-peer sharing of best practices, MARE speeds the improvement of resource management around the world. More than 70% of MARE clients state that its programs have made them more effective in their work

Marine Mammal Institute

Mountains Protected Areas Network (IUCN-WCPA)

The Mountains Biome, part of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) was established in 1992 with 3 overall goals: 

1) having IUCN play a strong role in the Mountain Agenda follow-up on chapter 13, agenda 21 from the Rio Earth Summit; 

2) developing a support and exchange network of protected areas managers, researchers and other professionals, and; 

3) promoting a greater awareness of values on mountain protected areas among the international community.

NBSAP Forum - National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans


Oceana   seeks to make our oceans more biodiverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world's marine life.

Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working with you to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges.

Together, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Ocean Crest Alliance

Ocean Elders

Ocean Elders

OceanElders is an independent group of global leaders who have joined together to serve as a catalyst in the conservation and protection of the ocean and its wildlife. These individuals use their collective influence, supported by science and data, to promote ocean conservation, pursue the protection of the ocean’s habitat and wildlife, and preserve its ecosystems and species biodiversity.

Ocean Legacy Foundation

Ocean Legacy Foundation

The Ocean Legacy Foundation has a primary mandate to research, educate and demonstrate the socio-economic and environmental benefits produced by managing plastic material streams that are treated as part of our Urban & Remote Waste Plastics Program. These objectives will be undertaken using environmentally sustainable Best- Practice strategies with proven technologies that are available to The Ocean Legacy Foundation.


Oceans 5 is an international funders’ collaborative comprised of new and experienced philanthropists dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans. We focus our investments and support on large, opportunistic projects and campaigns to establish marine reserves and constrain overfishing.

Ocean Sanctuary Alliance

The Ocean Sanctuary Alliance (OSA) is a partnership of nations and leaders from across disciplines, whose mission is to restore and sustain the world’s ocean by securing global and national commitments to establish marine sanctuaries, ensure responsible fishing, and related efforts. OSA is committed to helping fulfill the promise of SDG 14 to regenerate the fish stocks of the Ocean for the benefit of all humankind.

Okeanos - Foundation for the Sea

Okeanos - Foundation for the Sea

The Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea was founded in 2007 by Dieter Paulmann, who has been a passionate private underwater filmmaker for nearly 40 years.

The Foundation has made it its task to, above all, promote science and improve the communication of scientific findings, and through this to increase our awareness concerning the various threats our oceans are facing, future challenges, new solutions and positive examples.

Pacific Islands Development Forum

Pacific Islands Development Forum is:

Establishing the Pacific’s first and truly representative and participatory platform on the Green Economy. Empowering the People of the Pacific as primary stakeholders in their development through the green economy to initiate the process and make joint decisions about its outcome. Giving value to voices never heard at this level of decision making in the Pacific. Empowering the people of the Pacific to handle challenges and influence the direction of their own lives through the green economy.

Pristine Seas

The National Geographic Society's Pristine Seas project identifies, surveys, protects, and restores the last truly wild places in the ocean. Through exploration, scientific research, economic and policy analysis, and outreach, Pristine Seas works to establish marine reserves where marine life can thrive—while ensuring that they will be effectively managed for years to come.  Pristine Seas partners with heads of state, local governments and communities, NGOs, and business leaders. 

Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA)

 The Convention on Biological Diversity's Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) provides a globally-accepted framework for creating comprehensive, effectively managed and sustainably funded national and regional protected area systems around the globe.

PROTECTED AREAS: challenges and responses for the coming decade

This is the first of a new series of dialogues from Equilibrium Research, in light of current opportunities and pressures on protected areas, building up to the revision of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s biodiversity targets in 2020, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and wider patterns of economic and social development. The views are those of the authors and represent no other organisation or institution.

Dialogues are not referenced for reasons of space; key sources are available on request. The ideas outlined here build on our research since our founding in 1991, and in conversations and interaction with people throughout the world. is the online interface for the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), a joint project of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the most comprehensive global database on terrestrial and marine protected areas. The WDPA is managed at UNEP-WCMC in the Uunited Kingdom, supported by IUCN staff and the IUCN Commission on Protected Areas.

Protect Planet Ocean

Protect Planet Ocean  is an initiative by IUCN with the collaboration with UNEP-WCMC.  It contains various tools and resources, news and information.

Protect Planet Ocean (IUCN, UNEP-WCMC)

Protect Planet Ocean is an initiative by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP- WCMC). It is concerned with marine conservation and it houses data on marine protected areas (MPAs). You can explore the globe to view MPAs, however, the data for the Pacific Islands is sparse in comparison to Protected Planet.


Rare inspires change so people and nature thrive.  Rather than studying environmental problems, Rare focuses on bright spots in conservation — successful efforts worth emulating. Over the past few decades, Rare has demonstrated a methodology to take locally-led solutions, bright spots, and repeat them in communities around the world.