Biodiversity loss is a growing concern. Protected areas are a instrument to counteract this trend. The UN's Convention on Biological Diversity conference of the parties in Nagoya (October 2010) set stringent new targets to be reached by 2020. At least 17% of terrestrial and inland water and 10% of coastal and marine areas have to be protected. But are protected areas really protected? Are they in the right place? Where should new protected areas be located? The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), in collaboration with other partners, is helping decisionmakers to find their way through the vast amount of information needed to answer these and other questions by setting up a Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA).