2022 CE • Seychelles
"Beloved for its stunning beaches, coral reefs, and nature reserves, the 115-island East African archipelago of Seychelles has 51 protected areas, occupying an unprecedented 61.52% of the total land area and 32.82% of the marine area. That's more protected area (by percentage) than any other country or territory in the world. Still, the amount of protected land alone covers a space of only about 185 square miles, which is just over half the size of New York City." The Seychelles government began rigorous protecting its land beginning in the 1970s to protect the country's abundant biodiversity. "Seychelles is home to four Ramsar Sites . . . and two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Aldabra Atoll, whose coral islands serve as a refuge for some 152,000 giant tortoises, and the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, covered in palm forest."
Quote: Melissa Breyer, "10 Countries and Territories With the Most Protected Land," Treehugger, August 2, 2022. Government of Seychelles, "Seychelles’ Protected Areas Policy," SeygoConnect, last updated September 1, 2013.
Image: dronepicr, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons