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A political future for protected areas

Protected areas continue to grow in importance as a land-use. The latest assessment lists over 200,000 protected
areas, covering 15.4% of the land and inland waters and 8.4%of seas within national jurisdiction. This brings within reach
the Convention on Biological Diversity’s target of 17% for terrestrial protected areas and 10% for marine protected
areas by 2020. Percentage coverage is easiest to track but improving ecological representation, management effectiveness
and connectivity are perhaps more important to the success of protected areas, although more difficult to measure.