National and international involvement
Harz National Park is a member of a network which is both national and international
International standards for national parks – IUCN criteria
On behalf of the UN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) keeps a list of all existing protected areas. It also sets the aims for the different categories of protected areas and checks whether they are followed. The primary purpose of national parks (category II) is to secure undisturbed natural procedures ("let nature be nature") and the scientific research on those procedures. People should find recreation in these areas, as far as is reconcilable with the protection purpose. They are also intended for educational measures. Economic use is out of the question.
Both Harz and Hochharz National Park were officially declared national parks by the IUCN in 2003.
EUROPARC – The parent organization of Europe's protected areas
The parent organization EUROPARC Federation unites national parks, regional parks, nature reserves and biosphere reserves in 38 European countries. The common aim is to protect Europe's unique richness in animals, plants, biospheres and landscapes. For information on current projects, please visit www.europarc.org.
National branches of EUROPARC have been founded in many European countries, including Germany. EUROPARC Deutschland coordinates important operating ranges between the national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks and enables cross-border coordination of environmental protection in Germany. For further information, please visit www.europarc-deutschland.de (in German).
Harz National Park is a member of EUROPARC Federation and Europarc Deutschland.
European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas
The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas rewards those parks which emphasize sustainability when it comes to tourism development and management. In this context the partnership between the protected area and all those involved in the regional tourism is very important.
In 2005 Harz National Park was the first German national park to be added to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.