An area less exploited by humans, containing sites of particular scenic or scientific interest, and protected by a national authority. ‘Geography, and our identification with it, give us a sense of place. Geography also affects our national identity, and for many National Parks is the fundamental reason for their establishment as parks’ (United States National Parks Authority).
There may be conflicts between the conservation of the natural environment and public access; ‘where this happens, priority must be given to the conservation of natural beauty’ (Lord Sandford1974). Imrie and Edwards (2007) Geog. Compass 2 record protests by locals over the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala. See also Milian (2007) Cybergeo on the politics of ‘sites naturels’ in the Pyrenees.
Attempting to resolve post-colonial tensions, the management of many national parks in the developing world is shared between indigenous communities and the non-indigenous; see Waitt et al. (2007) TIBG 32, 2, on the Uluru National Park. For more on management, see T. Prato (2005) and for the economic benefits of a national park, see S. L. Patiño's study of the Madidi National Park, Bolivia.
Subjects: Science and technology