Nationalpark Thayatal

2082 Hardegg

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National Park Thayatal
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Aims & Duties

The National Park

Aims and objectives of National Parks

In the course of his development, man used and abused nature. Whereas this use was minimal in the early economic and social development era, and could still be compensated by nature's own regeneration powers, man really started interfering sustainably in the ecosystem since the industrial revolution. Technology and economy have contributed to the overuse and exploitation of nature. Measures originally set to protect humans from the forces of nature became increasingly necessary for the protection of nature against humans.

The main function of national parks is the protection of rare ecosystems and the conservation of biodiversity. Nature must be allowed to develop freely and human influence must disappear. National parks also have an education and information function. This is where man should learn to value and understand nature, and recognize the need to treat our natural environment with care. This way, national parks can play an active role in positive regional development towards nature friendly tourism.

The Lower Austrian national park law, the legal basis for the work of the National Park Thayatal, follows the international criteria for national parks issued by the Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN defined six categories of protected areas, one of them being national parks.
National parks (category II) are: "large natural or near natural areas set aside to protect large-scale ecological processes, along with the complement of species and ecosystems characteristic of the area, which also provide a foundation for environmentally and culturally compatible, spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational, and visitor opportunities". (IUCN, 1994 and 1999)
Austria strives to establish protected areas of high quality. Besides, the National Park Thayatal considers itself as a bridge between two neighbours: Austria and the Czech Republic. This is necessary as the protection of a river valley can only be guaranteed through the joint efforts of both bordering states, and only cooperation can ensure that the entire region is also actively involved with the national park.

The Austrian National Parks are:
  • Hohe Tauern (Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol)
  • Neusiedler See - Seewinkel
  • Donauauen
  • Upper Austrian Kalkalpen
  • Gesäuse
  • Thayatal
According to the regulations of the provincial law, the Nockberge are also considered as national park in Carinthia.