Protected areas

Protected areas are sites with outstanding natural (and often cultural) values that have some degree of formal legal protection. These places generate numerous environmental, social, economic and health benefits that are essential for the well-being of our societies. For this reason, every country in the world has part of its territory dedicated to these areas. In fact, both the United Nations and the European Union recommend that the area dedicated to these spaces be increased in the coming years, and in 2022 close to 200 countries agreed to protect 30% of the World’s lands and waters.

Spain is the country with the largest extension of protected areas in Europe and a clear global leader in this field. Few Spaniards are aware of this fact, and the vital role that these areas play in the well-being of our inhabitants, both urban and rural, is generally unknown. This website is part of the Communication Campaign for Our Protected Areas, complementing the messages and materials published on our social networks.


Photo: Alberto Duran/Shutterstock


« To communicate in a clear and affective manner the great diversity of values and benefits associated with Spanish protected areas. »

Spain in figures

The numbers that make the country a global leader in protected areas:

  • Nº 1 in Europe in terrestrial protected area

  • Nº 1 in the world in Biosphere Reserves

  • Nº 2 in the world in Geoparks

  • Nº 3 in the world in wetlands of international importance

  • 7-10 € profit for every 1 € invested in our protected areas

  • 36% of our land area is included within some kind of protected area