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The 2003 UN List of Protected Areas, the thirteenth produced since 1962, records the global community's endeavour to conserve the Earth's natural places. This is the first version to attempt a comprehensive presentation of all the world's known protected areas, listing 102,102 sites covering 18.8 million sq km, compared to just over 1,000 protected areas in 1962. Significant progress has been made in conserving representative areas of the world's terrestrial biomes, although some including Lake Systems and Temperate Grasslands, remain under-represented. It is an essential reference document for all who want to understand the progress made in responding to the challenges of biodiversity loss and other environmental threats around the world.