What's a National Park
The creation of a national park is a global instrument in order to protect unique landscapes and habitats of rare, typical and endangered animals and plants in the long term. It is not the only nor in all cases the best instrument of nature conservation policy. Establishing protected areas or scientific reserves may often be easier to achieve to facilitate the protection of species or landscapes.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organisation that brings together nation states and nature conservancy organisations. It has developed and defined six different categories for protected areas. Category II defines National Parks as a protected area that is managed mainly for ecosystem protection and for recreational use.
A National Park is therefore a natural area of land and/or sea, designated to:
- protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations;
- exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area;
- provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational, and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible.
managerial objectives are, among others, to:
- Protect natural and scenic areas of national and international significance for sprittual, educational, cultural and tourist purposes
- Preserve permanently characteristic physigraphic regions, biotic communities, genetic resources and unimpaired natural processes , in as natural a state as possible
- manage visitor use for inspirational, educational, cultural and recreational purposes at a level which will not cause significant biological or ecological degradation to the natural resources;
- Eliminate inappropriate or excessive human use or presence, which will decrease wilderness values and ultimately prevent an area contrary to the purpose of the national park.
- Maintain respect fro ecological, geomorphologic, scared or aesthetic attributes which warranted designation;
- Take into account the needs of indigenous people and local communities, including subsistence resource use, in so far as these will not adversely affect the primary management objective.
It is the responsibility of the national park to preserve those precious habitats for animals and plants by means of active care. Accompanying scientific research is essential for the protective and preserving measures. It is not only recommended, but it is a responsibility to create a unique experience for visitors: hiking trails, infrastructure, information points and adequate programmes for all visitors are part of the National Park's tasks.