While it seems that wetlands, woodland areas, rain forests, deserts and other large areas of natural terrain are being gobbled up by man and our lust for money, this isn’t always the case. Many areas of our world, around 15% is protected from any man-made devastation. This equated to over 160,000 places on Earth that are protected. The good news is these efforts to preserve our planet and its creatures is paying off by slowing the extinction rate of many species of life and in some cases has reversed the trend.
10. Northeast Greenland National Park
Northeast Greenland National Park is the largest national park in the world, with an area of 972,000 km2 (375,000 sq mi), making the park larger than 219 countries. It is the only national park in Greenland, and the most northerly national park in the world, its most northerly point reaching slightly further than the most northerly point in Quttinirpaaq National Park in Canada. The park encompasses the entire northeastern coastline and interior sections of Greenland.
09. Chagos Marine Protected Area
Part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos Marine Protected Area is the largest marine reserve in the world. Larger than the country of France, this marine reserve is located 500 kilometers south of Maldives. The seven atolls of Chagos are a wonder to see and are rich in biodiversity.
08. Phoenix Islands Protected Area
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is located in the Republic of Kiribati, an ocean nation in the central Pacific approximately midway between Australia and Hawaii. PIPA constitutes 11.34% of Kiribati’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and with a size of 408,250 km2 (157,630 sq mi) it is the largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Pacific Ocean. PIPA was the world’s first large, truly deep water, mid-ocean MPA. The greater part of PIPA by area is ocean floor with a water column averaging more than 4,000 meters (2.5 miles) deep. There are rumors that missing aviator Amelia Earhart crashed on one of the islands in 1937.
07. Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is a World Heritage listed, U.S. National Monument encompassing 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of ocean waters, including ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, internationally recognized for both its cultural and natural values. The area is home to 7,000 different species, including the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
06. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park protects a large part of Australia's Great Barrier Reef from damaging activities. Fishing and the removal of artefacts or wildlife (fish, coral, sea shells, etc.) is strictly regulated, and commercial shipping traffic must stick to certain specific defined shipping routes that avoid the most sensitive areas of the park. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest cluster of corals and other exotic marine life.