Recycling and Conservation

Which parts of the world have the largest protected areas?

Protected areas include national parks, nature reserves, national monuments, and other sites. There are at least 114,296 protected areas around the world, covering nearly 13 percent of the total land area. The regions with the largest amount of protected areas are:

Regions of the World with Largest Amount of Protected Areas (by actual area)
Region Square Miles/Square Kilometers (in thousands)
North America 1,586 / 4,109
South America (excluding Brazil) 810 / 2,098
East Asia 681 / 1,765
North Eurasia 678 / 1,755
Eastern and Southern Africa 652 / 1,689
Brazil 622 / 1,612
Australia and New Zealand 594 / 1,538
North Africa and Middle East 497 / 1,286
Western and Central Africa 433 / 1,121
Europe 337 / 874
Regions of the World with Largest Amount of Protected Areas (by percent of total land area)
Region Percent
Central America 30.28
Caribbean 29.05
South America (excluding Brazil) 22.55
Australia and New Zealand 19.19
Brazil 18.85
Southeastern Asia 18.60
North America 17.31
Europe 16.72
East Asia 15.00
Eastern and Southern Africa 14.70


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