Number and size of protected areas

Page Last modified 29 Sep 2016, 11:10 AM
About 1 121 500 km2 or 25,6 % of the EU 28 terrestrial land are protected under Natura 2000 or national designations or some combination of the two.

 

Sites in the Natura 2000 network now account for 18 % of the EU's land territory, providing invaluable protection for vulnerable wildlife and habitats. Protected areas
more generally (including nationally and locally designated sites) now cover 21,8 % [1] of the land territory of the European Environment Agency's member countries and collaborating countries, in total 39 countries.

Number of SitesTotal area [km²]% of protected area inside EU28

Nationally designated areas (CDDA)

100 181 1 200 000 km² 21,8 %

Protected areas under the European Nature Directives (Natura 2000)

(thereof terrestrial)

27 393

1 106 612.96 km²

(788 487.39 km²)

18,14 %
Protected areas under one or both of these categories (CDDA+Natura2000) 127 574

1 121 471 km²

(Net area)

25,6 %

Source: CDDA version 13, November 2015 and Natura 2000 data base: December 2014

 

For the area and total number of marine protected areas see here

 

While the number of protected areas in Europe is very high, their average size is quite low as compared to other regions of the world. This largely reflects the high degree of fragmentation of the land in Europe due to urbanisation, transport infrastructure and general intensification of land use.

Area sizeNationally protected areas
(CDDA)
Natura 2000 sites
<1 15,1% 3%
1 - 100 ha 61,8% 31,5%
100 - 1 000 ha 15,9% 32,8%
1 000 - 10 000 ha 5,5% 23,2%
>10 000 ha 1,9% 9,5%

Source: CDDA version 13, November 2015 and Natura 2000 data base: December 2014

 

For the complementary of nationally designated areas (CDDA) and the Natura 2000 network see here

 

[1] excluding Greenland, otherwise 26,8 %

sintra-cascais

Geographic coverage

Europe
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
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