DOPA at COP14 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity

We would like to invite you on Monday 19th at 18.15 (M7 - Youth Room Building 1) at our COP 14 side event

Bridging Aichi Targets 5, 11 and 15 with the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) and the World Atlas of Desertification (WAD)

The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) has been developed over the last years by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission in collaboration with the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and BirdLife International to mainly support the work of the CBD Secretariat and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

By providing a broad range of globally consistent and comparable indicators, based on global reference data sets, on protected area coverage, connectivity, species, ecosystems and pressures at country, ecoregion and protected area scale, the DOPA is the most advanced information system on protected areas and a reference information system that is particularly relevant for the UN Sustainable Development Goals 14 (Life below Water) and 15 (Life on Land).

This side event will also be the opportunity to launch the DOPA Explorer 3.0, a new web-based application offering an unprecedented level of information on nearly 30 000 terrestrial, coastal and marine protected areas globally. DOPA Explorer uses, among other indicators and data sources, new information on land degradation derived from JRC's latest World Atlas of Desertification (WAD) and earth observations data derived from Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation Programme. By doing so, this new version of DOPA Explorer provides unique information bridging the gap between Aichi Targets 5 on the loss of natural habitats, Target 11 on protected areas and Target 15 on the restoration of ecosystems.

It is the purpose of this side event to present these new developments including the WAD, to showcase the use of DOPA Explorer 3.0 to support decision making and national and international reporting (NBSAPs) and to discuss the global challenges of further integrating an increasing amount of data into complex systems for knowledge management

Chair and moderator:

Ivan Davor Kulis, Head of Knowledge for Sustainable Development and Food Security Unit, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission


Sarat Gidda, Senior Programme Management Officer, Secretariat of the CBD

Stefan Leiner, Head of Biodiversity Unit, DG Environment, European Commission

Naomi Kingston, Head of Programme Protected Areas, UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Grégoire Dubois, Lead of the Global Conservation And Development project, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Updated date: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:35

DOPA Explorer 3.0 is out !

DOPA Explorer 3.0 is out today and available from

Compared to the last release (2.0 from February 2018), DOPA Explorer 3.0 has seen the following main improvements:

- DOPA Explorer 3.0 is based on the July 2018 version of the World Database on Protected areas (last version was October 2017)
- A new graphical interface with improved search functions.
- A minimum size of documented protected areas of 25 km2 instead of 50 km2 (an increase from around 24 000 documented areas to nearly 30 000)
- New information about project funding and development aid (see factsheet K1)
- New information about Key Biodiversity Areas (see Factsheet B3)
- New indicator on land productivity dynamics (see factsheet I1)
- New indicator om land fragmentation (see Factsheet I2)
- New indicator on soil organic carbon (see Factsheet J1)
- New information on conservation funding (see Factsheet K1)
- Most metrics and indicators computed at the protected area level have also been computed at the country and ecoregion levels (i.e. land cover change, land fragmentation, soil carbon, population and built up pressures,…)
- New interface to allow the display of species occurrences as provided by the GBIF.
- New near real time information on droughts, fires, floods, coral bleaching stress, sea surface temperature anomalies
- And more…

Updated date: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:32

DOPA at FOSS4G 2018 - Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania)

The DOPA team will run a workshops at FOSS4G 2018 in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) the 28th of Agust showing hands-on examples based on our experiences in developing the Digital Observatory of Protected Areas (DOPA) and the BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) project. Using case studies in Africa, we will cover data entry using OpenStreetMap tools, data management and processing in PostGIS, delivering information via REST services and through GeoServer, and putting this together in a simple web application using LeafletJS. We hope to encourage the use of such tools and methods not only for protected areas and conservation, but more broadly in the natural resource management and sustainable development domains. More info at

Updated date: Friday, August 17, 2018 - 12:10

5th European Congress of Conservation Biology (ECCB2018)

The DOPA team will be presenting some of the most recent DOPA applications and indicators at the forthcoming 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology (ECCB2018) in Jyväskylä, Finland, on 12th - 15th of June 2018 ( In particular, Santiago Saura will give two oral presentations on DOPA. The first presentation, entitled "DOPA Explorer 2.0: A web based tool assessing all large protected areas in support to conservation policies", will be given on the afternoon of Wednesday 13th of June within the ECCB2018 session on protected areas, and will cover the main features, types of indicators and functionalities of the recently released DOPA Explorer 2.0 application. The second presentation entitled "Protected area connectivity shortfalls and country-level priorities: global and European insights", will be given on the afternoon of Friday 15th of June, within the symposium "Connectivity Conservation - safeguarding the future in a matrix of human-dominated landscapes", and will cover the most recent results of the Protected Connected (ProtConn) indicator in DOPA, globally and at the European level, and will provide an overview of the planned future developments of this indicator.

Updated date: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 08:59

Latest updates to DOPA Explorer 2.0

1) To celebrate Natura 2000 (Natura 2000 day is 21st of May), the largest network of protected areas in the world, we provide end-users with new means to display the protected areas that are part of this network (see drop down menu from the Protected Area tab). 
2) IUCN management category: DOPA Explorer provides now more details about each of the IUCN management categories associated to the protected areas documented in the DOPA. 
3) The built-up pressures computed globally for each protected area larger than 50 km2 have been assessed with a brand new version of the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) developed at JRC. The associated fact sheet has been updated accordingly. See also 

Updated date: Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 15:42

DOPA Explorer 2.0 is out!

It is beautiful, it smiles on your PC and your mobile phones...

DOPA Explorer 2.0, the most advanced global information system characterizing the world’s protected areas has seen the light in Ispra, Italy, on the 15th of February 2018 at 16:58 GMT + 1 at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission with the help of the UNEP-WCMC, the IUCN and BirdLife International.

It weights 22 897 species, 23 863 protected areas, went trough 7 597 677 intersections protected areas/species, uses Terra bytes of imagery on forests, surface water, built-up areas, ... and so much more.

DOPA Explorer 2.0 is out now at and we expect it to grow fast over the next months by becoming multilingual, addressing regional reporting needs and by addressing Key Biodiversity Areas.

See birth certificate at

The parents are all well but exhausted...

Updated date: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 13:18

New publications

New publications from the team have just been published in scientific journals and are open access to everyone.
  • Saura, S., Bertzky, B., Bastin, L. Battistella, Mandrici, A., Dubois, G. (2018). Protected area connectivity: shortfalls in global targets and country-level priorities.  Biological Conservation, 219: 53-67
  • Herrera, L.P., Sabatino, M.C., Jaimes, F.R., Saura, S. (2017). Landscape connectivity and the role of small habitat patches as steppingstones: an assessment of the grassland biome in Southern Pampa, Argentina. Biodiversity and Conservation



Updated date: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 13:18


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