Protected Areas


 Areas Protected

 286,161 km2

Terrestrial and Inland Water



Area protected, as per WDPA

Area protected, as per country reports

Coastal and Marine Coverage

Not Applicable

Area protected or conserved,
as per WDPA

Key species

Zambia is home to over 12,500 species, of which almost 200 have been assessed as threatened according to the IUCN Red List. Almost 4,000 plant species and 563 microorganisms have been recorded. 224 mammal species have been recorded, many of which are economically important through hunting and tourism. Zambia is also home to over 750 bird species, comparatively high for a landlocked country dominated by a single biome. 490 species of fish have been recorded

Pressures and threats

Zambia’s ecosystems face major threats: degazettement of forest reserves, mostly for purposes of mining; deforestation and habitat degradation; human encroachment into protected areas; uncontrolled late bush fires; overexploitation of certain tree species, as well as mammals for the bushmeat and illegal wildlife trade and overfishing of freshwater ecosystems; pollution from agriculture, mining and other industrial activities; and alien invasive species.

Zambia is a land locked country in southern Africa comprising forests, agro-ecosystems and wetlands as the most important ecosystems to the national economy and rural livelihoods. Biodiversity conservation to date has been undertaken through the management of the existing protected areas system, and promotion of sustainable utilization of natural resources in open areas.

Protected and conserved areas designated as global sites of importance

Global designation

Number of sites

UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves


UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Natural or Mixed)


Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites)


Source ((Ramsar, 2019; UNESCO, 2019a, 2019b)


Priority areas for conservation


Number of sites

Alliance for Zero Extinction sites


Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas


Key Biodiversity Areas


(AZE Secretariat, 2019; BirdLife International, 2019c, 2019a)

Regional Reference Information System Zambia

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