National Parks

Bosworth, Gary and Curry, Nigel (2020) National Parks. In: International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Second Edition. Elsevier, pp. 229-237. ISBN 9780081022955

National Parks

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National Parks (Parks) have been defined by the IUCN as areas to be managed for ecosystem protection and the promotion of education and recreation. Globally, there are many exceptions to the full IUCN definition: some are not national, some do not allow recreation; some areas that meet the definition are not called Parks and some that don't, are. The issue of definition also leads to wildly deviating claims about how many Parks there are across the globe. When writing the first edition in 2009, there were about 3900 Parks worldwide covering nearly 4.5 million km2. Today, estimates range from more than 6500 to 113,000 parks covering almost 150 million sq km.
Parks developed from the ideas of advocates in England and America who were concerned with recreation and cultural protection rather than the environment. The first two designated were Yosemite (1864) and Yellowstone (1872) both in America. Parks are still being designated today: China announced 10 pilot programs in 2017 with its first National Park in the Sanjiangyuan area planned to open in 2020.
A World Park Congress is held every decade to determine global policy: the sixth was in Sydney in 2014. Emphasis has shifted since the first Congress from ecosystem protection to sustainable development and local involvement. The latest Congress also examined issues of climate change and the challenges of reconciling different development challenges while safeguarding equality. The ownership of Parks is variable: many are not publicly owned. There has been some restitution of Park lands to Indigenous peoples, but often the state has retained many of the rights (habitation, hunting, resource exploitation) to this land. The biggest management challenge in Parks is striking a balance between conservation and development. Active community involvement in management is commonly deployed in pursuit of this balance.

Keywords:National Parks, Natural Parks, Conservation, Rural Tourism
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D447 Environmental Conservation
L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
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ID Code:41216
Deposited On:21 Jul 2020 12:09

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