The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have banded together to launch ProtectedPlanet.net, an interactive website that allows you to explore 150,000 of the world’s protected areas. The map-based interface allows you to zoom in for satellite images and details on species and plant life. The site is also meant to be a social media hub, allowing for the sharing of photos, travelogues and points of interest that can in turn be shared to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
The site aims to help spur global ecotourism in an effort to generate revenues and livelihoods for locals, shedding light on the thousands of smaller and lesser-known areas that attract few visitors. The goal is to harness technology for biodiversity conservation by showcasing the beauty and species diversity of protected areas to enlarge the number of those that would help to keep it protected.
ProtectedPlanet.net brings together information from all over the internet, including species data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), protected area descriptions from Wikipedia, photos from Panoramio and Flickr and Google maps. The website also expands on the World Database on Protected Areas currently managed by UNEP-WCMC.