Protected Areas
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Zones protected from perturbation due to the sensitivity and/or uniqueness of the area.  The level of protection can vary across zones and is usually determined by national, regional or international legislation.  Data for the distribution of protected areas in coastal Africa are provided by the Ramsar Convention Bureau and Wetlands International, the UNEP/WCMC World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) and ReefBase.

  • Name: Ramsar biosphere reserves for Africa
  • Description: The point and polygon distribution of biosphere reserves for coastal Africa on a country level.
  • Source and metadata: Ramsar Sites Database. "The Ramsar Sites Database is a searchable database, fully accessible through the internet with a password protected data entry system, and an unprotected reporting system for public use. The data included in the database derives from the Ramsar Information Sheet, the Ramsar National Report and/or from Administrative Authority correspondence provided by Contracting Parties. This includes information on wetland types, land uses, threats, hydrological values of the sites etc. The core Ramsar Sites Database is primarily a tool to look at Ramsar Sites across geographic and thematic boundaries, useful and necessary for maintaining an overview of a global network of well over 1300 internationally important wetlands from 138 countries." These data may not be used for any commercial purposes.
  • Original Publisher: Ramsar Convention Bureau and Wetlands International, Ramsar Sites Database
  • Data download:
ramsar_man&biosphere_reserves_small1.jpg (14264 bytes)
  • Name: Ramsar wetlands for coastal Africa
  • Description: The distribution of wetland reserves for coastal Africa on a country level.
  • Source: Ramsar Sites Database. "The Ramsar Sites Database is a searchable database, fully accessible through the internet with a password protected data entry system, and an unprotected reporting system for public use. The data included in the database derives from the Ramsar Information Sheet, the Ramsar National Report and/or from Administrative Authority correspondence provided by Contracting Parties. This includes information on wetland types, land uses, threats, hydrological values of the sites etc. The core Ramsar Sites Database is primarily a tool to look at Ramsar Sites across geographic and thematic boundaries, useful and necessary for maintaining an overview of a global network of well over 1300 internationally important wetlands from 138 countries." These data may not be used for any commercial purposes.
  • Original Publisher: Ramsar Convention Bureau and Wetlands International
  • Data download:
ramsar_wetland_sites_small1.jpg (15528 bytes)
  • Name: Ramsar world heritage sites for Africa
  • Description: The point distribution of world heritage sites for coastal Africa.
  • Source: Ramsar Sites Database. "The Ramsar Sites Database is a searchable database, fully accessible through the internet with a password protected data entry system, and an unprotected reporting system for public use. The data included in the database derives from the Ramsar Information Sheet, the Ramsar National Report and/or from Administrative Authority correspondence provided by Contracting Parties. This includes information on wetland types, land uses, threats, hydrological values of the sites etc. The core Ramsar Sites Database is primarily a tool to look at Ramsar Sites across geographic and thematic boundaries, useful and necessary for maintaining an overview of a global network of well over 1300 internationally important wetlands from 138 countries." These data may not be used for any commercial purposes.
  • Original Publisher: Ramsar Convention Bureau and Wetlands International
  • Data download:
ramsar_wrld_heritage_sites_small1.jpg (19357 bytes)
  • Name: World Database of Protected Areas; marine protected areas for coastal Africa
  • Description: The distribution of marine protected areas for coastal Africa.
  • Source and metadata: WDPA
  • Original Publisher: UNEP/WCMC
  • Citation: Wood, L. J. (2005). MPA Global: A database of the world's marine protected areas. Modified version for inclusion on WDPA CD. Sea Around Us Project, UNEP-WCMC & WWF. www.mpaglobal.org.
  • Conditions: Data are copyright 2004 UNEP, IUCN - all rights reserved. Data may not be used for any commercial purposes without permission from the WDPA.
  • Processing notes: Data were downloaded from the WDPA as Global Core MPA data, and edited to our area of interest.
  • Data download:
ramsar_man&biosphere_reserves_small1.jpg (14264 bytes)
  • Name: ReefBase marine protected areas for coastal Africa
  • Description: The distribution of marine protected areas for coastal Africa on a country level for the year 2001.
  • Source and metadata: ReefBase 
  • Original Publisher: WorldFish Center
  • Citation: M. Noordeloos, M. Tupper, Y. Yusuf, M.K. Tan, S.L. Tan, S.J. Teoh, S. Ikbal. ReefBase: A Global Information System on Coral Reefs [Online]. Available from: http://www.reefbase.org [Accessed: 15/11/06]. Data may not be used for any commercial purposes without the permission of Reefbase.
  • Processing notes: Distribution data for marine protected areas in coastal Africa were extracted from ReefBase in tabular Excel (xls) format.   Point distribution data were edited, checked for errors, and converted to shapefile format.
  • Data download:
reefbasempas_small1.jpg (15502 bytes)