The 15 national parks in the UK are represented by National Parks UK, which is headed by the parks' 15 chairmen.
Protected areas across Europe are represented by Europarc, which represents 500 protected areas in 39 countries.
Protected areas around the world are represented by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), which represents more than 100,000 protected areas.
The IUCN was the world’s first global environmental organisation and was founded in 1948.
In other words: To help and encourage people all over the world to look after nature and not destroy it, and make sure we share what we take from nature fairly, and that we take only what we can reproduce again, so that all wildlife has a home to live in and there is enough left for our future generations.
The IUCN represents many different types of protected areas around the world. It divides protected areas into six categories.
The IUCN category II is called 'National Parks'. But the UK's national parks are not in this category, because they are places where people live and work.
The UK's national parks are in category V, called 'Protected Landscapes'. The landscape in our national parks has been shaped by nature and by people over thousands of years, and they have been protected to help preserve both natural and cultural heritage.
There are lots of other protected areas around the world that are also in category V. Here are what a few other 'Protected Landscapes' are called:
|National Parks internationally (IUCN Category II)||UK National Parks - Protected Landscapes (IUCN Cateory V)|
|large natural areas mostly untouched by humans, hardly no-one lives there||lived in and working landscapes shaped by the interaction between people and nature|
|mostly publicly owned||most land belongs to private landowners|
|educational and recreational visitor opportunities||accessible to everyone to enjoy and learn about their special qualities|
|protecting large ecosystems and species||protecting landscapes with special character and our cultural and natural heritage|
The table below gives you facts and figures of some national parks around the world. See how they compare with the facts and figures of the three UK national parks that are also part of this list.
|National Park Name||Country||IUCN|
|Year of Designation||Area|
|Hohe Tauern||Austria, Europe||II||2006 (as category II)||1812||Grossglockner|
|II||01st March 1872 (World's 1st NP)||8992||Eagle Peak|
|Denali National Park|
|USA Alaska||Ib||1980 (as caetgory 1b)||24584||Mount McKinley|
|Cairngorms||Scotland, UK||V||2003||3800||Ben Macdui|
|Lake District||England, UK||V||1951||2292||Scafell Pike|
|Pembrokeshire Coast||Wales, UK||V||1952||621||Foel Cwmcerwyn|