|Protected Areas in Norway
In Norway - as in Northern Europe in general - the protection of the environment is a matter of great cultural and political importance, which goes beyond the protection of some limited areas.
The main features of the Norwegian natural heritage - mountains, glaciers, wetlands and bogs, birch and coniferous forests - as well as its faunistic peculiarities (such as the reindeer, which is a national symbol), are well represented in the 33 National Parks (26 of which are on the mainland and 7 on the Svalbard archipelago).
Besides National Parks, other kinds of existing protected areas are:
- Protected landscape areas: characterised by impressive natural and cultural landscapes, where any activity which may alter the landscape nature is strictly forbidden;
- Nature Reserves: unspoilt natural areas or biotopes with a high scientific or pedagogic value;
- Natural Monuments: geological, botanical or zoological resources of great historical and scientific interest.
Other special measures for the protection of fjords and of the jagged coast (more than 20,000 km long) are currently under consideration.
Sources: Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management; "I Parchi Naturali Europei" (R. Gambino, 1994, NIS)