Protected areas | WWF

The Greater Mekong region’s protected area network covers 11.5 % of the overall land area. But the threats these national parks and reserves face means we must work harder to better manage and finance them.

Protected areas are often seen as the “backbone” of biodiversity protection and it is clearly the case that the Greater Mekong’s protected areas contain a disproportionate amount of the regions biodiversity.

The region’s protected area network represents 11.5 % of overall land area—roughly equal to the global protected area network. However, the region’s protected areas and their associated values face numerous threats including encroachment, habitat degradation, and targeted poaching and collecting of numerous protected species.

Inadequate funding and staffing, weak management, growing markets for illegally harvested species and their derivatives are often at the root of these impacts.

With this strategy, WWF seeks to stabilize and improve this critical backbone of regional conservation. However, protecting this diversity and the benefits it confers is a broad endeavour.

Recognizing that patterns and drivers of illegal poaching, trade, and consumption of biodiversity extend far beyond the boundaries of protected areas, this strategy seeks to ensure that activities undertaken inside the protected area network have dynamic and active links to law enforcement networks operating in the provinces, countries, and the region as a whole.

What we are doing

  • mobilizing critical and urgent action with regard to the region’s most threatened species
  • ensuring the region’s most important protected areas and trans-boundary conservation landscapes are wellmanaged and effective at meeting their goals
  • addressing wider threats through intelligence gathering, disruption, and suppression of wildlife trade