Designated land or water ecosystems that are under special protection from any form of environmental degradation. For instance, forests that cannot be cleared for any form of development or parts of the sea that cannot be fished. There are now over 120 thousand protected areas around the world–from forest parks to coral reefs and rivers–that have been put under this designation by government’s concerned. Protected areas are supposed to act as a genetic storehouse of the earth, preserving the diversity of its species.