The French government has designated a total of ten areas as national parks, both within the country’s borders and in adjacent foreign territories. There are seven of them in France, while three of them are situated in other countries.
The combined land area of these protected parks is 1,430 square miles, with an additional 3,537 square miles of buffer space around them
This region accounts for slightly more than two percent of France’s total land area. Researchers can conduct studies on the numerous plant and animal species found in France’s national parks because of the country’s national parks system, which serves as protected places for the country’s rich biodiversity.
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The Development Of National Parks Throughout France’s History
The French government has established national parks in places deemed significant historical and cultural value, as well as high levels of biodiversity and distinctive landscapes.
In 1872, the United States was the first country to establish national parks, and the concept quickly caught on in other countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Due to the extensive human development and occupation of the land in Europe, national parks were created much later on that continent. In 1921, France established a national parks administration and started constructing protected areas in a number of its colonies throughout the globe.
However, a federal statute creating national parks was not enacted until 1960, after years of campaigning on the part of the Touring Club and the Alpine Club of France.
Before that time, national parks were not recognized as protected areas. The passage of this statute paved the way for establishing seven national parks within its limits throughout Europe.
The National Park is France’s Oldest.
The Vanoise National Park, which was protected in July of 1963, is considered to be France’s first national park that was formally formed by law.
This park extends across 483 square miles in size and may be found in the Alps mountain range. In addition to the Alpine ibex, it is home to over one hundred other kinds of birds.
The Topography Of France’s National Parks And Reserves
The bulk of France’s seven national parks may be found in hilly parts of the country. These parks are known for their towering granite peaks, glacier basins, alpine lakes, and grassy meadows.
In addition, the national parks include a wide range of climates, from mountainous to the Mediterranean to continental.
They provide a variety of activities for guests to choose from, such as skiing, mountain climbing, hiking, visiting petroglyphs and architectural ruins, and observing wild animals.
The Calanque National Park is found on the coast and protects an area of the sea that is approximately 170 square miles in size. At the same time, the Port-Cross National Park is located in the Mediterranean and protects an entire island in addition to parts of its coastal sections.
The Guadeloupe National Park can be found in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, the Réunion National Park can be found on an island in the Indian Ocean, and the Guiana Amazonian Park can be found in the rainforest of French Guiana in South America.
All three of these national parks are located outside of Europe. These national parks are geographically comparable because most of their land is covered by tropical forests.
The Importance Of France’s National Parks
The national parks of France play a vital role in the country’s economy, culture, and biodiversity. People can better understand how to preserve wildlife by visiting these parks, which bring them closer to nature.
Additionally, efforts are made in these regions to protect the local ecosystem and the natural habitats of the local plants and animals, especially those species that are now at risk of extinction.
Any area that contains a national park is eligible for additional money from the federal government to promote educational initiatives and scientific investigation. Every year, almost seven million people from all over the world visit the national parks in this region.
The Necessity of Establishing More National Parks
Many of France’s natural regions are in danger of being eradicated due to the widespread urbanization and development that is taking place across the country.
Because of this risk, it is vital that the government establish additional national parks in order to preserve its natural ecosystems and the animals inside them.
The expansion of the country’s network of national parks is a priority for the administration. As an illustration, in 2006, it modified the constitutional definition of what constitutes national parks.
According to the revised definition, protected places must also work to develop their relationships with the surrounding communities. In addition to that, it made the size requirement stricter.
Plans are now being formulated to establish the nation’s 11th national park in the country’s northeastern area and the nation’s 12th national park in one of the humid ecoregions of the country.
The French Countryside’s Top Ten National Parks
|1||Guiana Amazonian Park (Parc amazonien de Guyane)||French Guiana (overseas department)||33,900 km2 (13,089 sq mi)||2007|
|2||Vanoise National Park (Parc national de la Vanoise)||Savoie||1,250 km2 (483 sq mi)||6 July 1963|
|3||Réunion National Park (Parc national de la Réunion)||Réunion (overseas department)||1,054 km2 (407 sq mi)||2007|
|4||Écrins National Park (Parc National des Écrins)||Isère and Hautes-Alpes||918 km2 (354 sq mi)||27 March 1973|
|5||Cévennes National Park (Parc national des Cévennes)||Mainly Lozère and Gard, also Ardèche and Aveyron||913 km2 (353 sq mi)||2 September 1970|
|6||Mercantour National Park (Parc national du Mercantour)||Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence||685 km2 (264 sq mi)||18 August 1979|
|7||Calanques National Park (Parc national des Calanques)||Bouches-du-Rhône||520 km2 (201 sq mi)||18 April 2012|
|8||Pyrénées National Park (Parc national des Pyrénées)||Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques||457 km2 (176 sq mi)||23 March 1967|
|9||Guadeloupe National Park (Parc national de la Guadeloupe)||Guadeloupe (overseas department)||173 km2 (67 sq mi)||20 February 1989|
|10||Port-Cros National Park (Parc national de Port-Cros)||Var||7 km2 (3 sq mi)||14 December 1963|