The IUCN Green List of Protected Areas, which recognizes protected areas that are successfully meeting their objectives, was officially launched at the World Parks Congress in Sydney. The Green List’s first group of approved sites includes three MPAs: Gorgona Island Marine Park (Colombia), Iroise National Park (France), and Cerber√®-Banyuls Marine Natural Reserve (France). There are also 21 terrestrial sites on the list.

The Green List is a voluntary standard. When protected areas and their agencies apply for Green List standing, they must demonstrate performance and outcomes against several criteria. These include design and delivery of real conservation programs for key values; governance that equitably shares the costs and benefits of conservation actions; and effective management and operations. IUCN considers the Green List to be the first global standard to define excellence in protected area management.

For the past two years the Green List has undergone a pilot phase (“The Coming Age of MPA Certification?”, MPA News 15:3). During this phase it was tested by eight partner countries: Australia, China, Colombia, France, Italy, Kenya, South Korea, and Spain.

The Green List has now moved into a development phase for 2015, 2016, and 2017, and is welcoming new commitments from partner countries, agencies, site managers, and stakeholders worldwide.

For more information on the Green List, including its criteria and how to apply for listing, go to