What is the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Green List?

Do you want to know if an animal or plant species is in danger of extinction? You have only one thing to do: consult the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Not everyone knows, however, that the IUCN also prepares a parallel Green List, less known but very important.

How to access the Green List and who can be part of it

The Green List is an exhaustive list of protected areas in the world. It meets very precise criteria including the protection of ecosystems, the quality of forest management, the inclusion in the context of the community and territories and sustainable development initiatives. Currently 59 sites in 16 countries are part of it, but more than 500 are trying to join. The last protected areas to be included in the Green List are in France, Switzerland and also in Italy, where the National Park of the Casentino Forests, the Gran Paradiso National Park and the Tuscan Archipelago are included.

But what is the real function and usefulness of the Green List?

The real mission of the Green List is to improve protection, conservation and management initiatives carried out at an international level, but above all to convince forest owners, park managers and local administrations to confront complex issues such as the rights of indigenous peoples and, as already mentioned, sustainable tourism, a resource that has always been important and felt by the public.

There are about 250,000 protected areas in the world, but most of them are not managed properly,” explains James Hardcastle, who heads the team behind the Green list. “The key to success is balancing local interests with national and international interests.” The fact that make the Green List unique is that it includes not only well-known and well-known places, but also very small places such as indigenous reserves, urban, metropolitan and provincial parks.

The Green List is an opportunity for all of us

The Green List is an opportunity to be ambitious and have hope,” comments Víctor Lagos San Martín of Chile’s Corporación nacional forestal. “Conservation efforts are almost always based on the Red List, existing threats and endangered species. But the Green List allows you to do exactly the opposite.

The real goal is that at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in October, all the countries of the world can take up the challenge defined as 30 by 30, aimed at protecting at least 30 percent of land and sea by 2030. There are already many communities struggling with the climate crisis, deforestation, and the destruction of habitats and community life. The hope is that more and more people will approach environmental issues and contribute, with their daily actions, to the safeguard of those areas that are heritage of all humanity, whether they are near or far from our reality.