The National Park
Distinctions and recognition
IUCN Appraisal in the National Park Thayatal
IUCN RecognitionThe legal responsibility to declare an area as national park lies with the relevant authority, thus in the case of the Thayatal, it is the Lower Austrian Government. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) set criteria for national parks for the first time in 1962 and for many years now, it has been in charge of compiling the UN list of protected areas. An IUCN classification as national park is therefore like a trademark for protected areas.
Normally the classification is handled by the World Conservation Monitoring in Cambridge upon a recommendation from national authorities. The Thayatal is the first national park in the world to have been evaluated on site by IUCN experts. Moreover, the Thayatal, together with the National Park Hohe Tauern - Carinthia, was also for the first time in the IUCN's history awarded a decree. The award ceremony took place on 18 August 2001 in Hardegg.
Award of the European Diploma
European Diploma of the Council of EuropeSince 1965 the Council of Europe (France) has been granting the European Diploma to protected, natural and semi-natural areas and landscapes of special European importance for the preservation of biological, geological and landscape diversity. The Diploma may be renewed by the Council of Europe every five years on the basis of an on-the-spot appraisal. The Národni Park Podyjí was awarded the European Diploma in 2000, followed by the Thayatal in 2003.
TOP destination in Lower Austria
Transborder Cooperation - EUROPARCIn 2007 both national parks Thayatal and Podyjí underwent an assessment of the efficiency and quality of their transborder cooperation. Experts praised the joint efforts and the two national parks were awarded a diploma.
Brochure TransParcNet 2010 [PDF]
Award of the Josef-Schöffl-Prize by J. Plank, member of the provincial government
Josef-Schöffl-Prize for special achievements in nature conservationIn 2008 the Government of Lower Austria awarded Mr. Norbert Kellner, former mayor and long-standing chairman of the National Park's advisory board, the highest recognition in the field of nature conservation: the Josef-Schöffl-Prize, thus expressing their appreciation for Norbert Kellner's efforts in the establishment of a national park Thayatal.
The UN decade project "Education for Sustainable Development" 2005-2014
On 29.11.2011, the Environmental Education Network of Lower Austria was designated as UN decade project "Education for Sustainable Development" 2005-2014 by the Austrian UNESCO commission. The National Park Thayatal is part of this network, which includes a total of 63 organisations committed to environmental education activities in terms of education for a sustainable development.