Protected areas of Poland

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Centre for Nature Education at the Bialowieza National Park, Poland Poland Bialowieza Hunters Mansion 1.jpg
Centre for Nature Education at the Białowieża National Park, Poland

Protected areas of Poland include the following categories, as defined by the Act on Protection of Nature ( Polish : Ustawa o ochronie przyrody) of 16 April 2004, [1] by the Polish Parliament:


National parks

There are 23 national parks in Poland . These were formerly run by the Polish Board of National Parks (Krajowy Zarząd Parków Narodowych), but in 2004 responsibility for them was transferred to the Ministry of the Environment. Most national parks are divided into strictly and partially protected zones. Additionally, they are usually surrounded by a protective buffer zone called otulina.

Landscape parks

According to the Act on Protection of Nature (Ustawa o ochronie przyrody) of 2004, a Landscape Park (Parki Krajobrazowe) is defined as "an area protected because of its natural, historical, cultural and scenic values, for the purpose of conserving and popularizing those values in conditions of balanced development." [2] As at 9 May 2009 there are 122 designated Landscape Parks throughout Poland, covering a total area of approximately 26,100 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi). [3]

Nature reserves

Nature reserves cover a total area of 1,644,634 hectares (4,063,980 acres), representing 0.53% of the territory of Poland. [4] As of 2011, Poland has 1469 nature reserves. [5] The Nature reserves in Poland are divided into categories: fauna (141), landscape (108), forest (722), peat-bog (177), flora (169), water (44), inanimate nature (72), steppe (32) and halophyte (4). [6] Another division is into the regular and strict nature reserves; the strict ones see no human activity, whereas the regular one see limited maintenance. [7]

Protected areas

Protected landscape areas ( Polish : obszary chronionego krajobrazu) belong to some of the least restrictive zones of protection, with focus on qualified tourism and outdoor recreation. There were 419 protected landscape areas in Poland as of December 31, 2008 covering an area of 7,058,000 hectares (17,440,000 acres), or slightly over 23% of the country. [8]

Natura 2000 designated areas

About 500 Natura 2000 sites, ecological network of protected areas in the territory of the European Union including:

Other designated sites

Poland also has the following internationally designated sites:

Biosphere Reserves

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are environment-protected scientific-research institutions of international status that are created with the intent for conservation in a natural state the most typical natural complexes of biosphere, conducting background ecological monitoring, studying of the surrounding natural environment, its changes under the activity of anthropogenic factors.

Biosphere Preserves are created on the base of nature preserves or national parks including to their composition territories and objects of other categories of nature-preserving fund and other lands as well as including in the established order the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in the UNESCO framework "Man and the Biosphere Programme". There are 9 Biosphere Reserves in Poland.

World Heritage Sites

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, island, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by UNESCO as sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. [12] There are fourteen World Heritage Sites in Poland (1 [note 1] Natural and 13 [note 2] [note 3] Cultural). The first two sites were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978. Three of the sites, Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest, Wooden Tserkvas of Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine and Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski are shared with neighboring countries (Belarus, Ukraine and Germany). Poland also has six sites on the Tentative List.

Ramsar Convention sites

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, [13] i.e., to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. [14] Since the convention became effective in Poland on 22 March 1978, the designation of Wetland of International Importance has been applied to thirteen locations in the country, which combine to form an area of 145,075 ha (358,490 acres). [15] [16]

Related Research Articles

Protected areas of the United Kingdom are areas in the United Kingdom which need and /or receive protection because of their environmental, historical or cultural value to the nation. Methods and aims of protection vary depending on the nature and importance of the resource. Protection operates at local, regional, national and international levels, and may be backed by legislation and international treaty, or less formally by planning policy.

Nature reserve Protected area for flora, fauna or features of geological interest

A nature reserve, is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna, or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for purposes of conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. They may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws. Normally it is more strictly protected than a nature park. Various jurisdictions may use other terminology, such as ecological protection area or private protected area in legislation and in official titles of the reserves.

Biosphere reserves of Poland

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are environment-protected scientific-research institutions of international status that are created with the intent for conservation in a natural state the most typical natural complexes of biosphere, conducting background ecological monitoring, studying of the surrounding natural environment, its changes under the activity of anthropogenic factors.

Transboundary protected area

A transboundary protected area (TBPA) is an ecological protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity. Such areas are also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) or peace parks.

Nigula Nature Reserve

Nigula Nature Reserve is a nature reserve situated in South-West of Estonia, in Häädemeeste and Saarde parishes of Pärnu County. It has an area of 63.98 km². Nigula nature reserve is one of the oldest bog reserves in Estonia. It is established to protect the Nigula Bog and its surrounding forests in their natural state.

Wigry National Park

Wigry National Park is a National Park in Podlaskie Voivodeship in north-eastern Poland. It covers parts of the Masurian Lake District and Augustów Primeval Forest. It is named after lake Wigry, the largest of the Park's many lakes. It is also classed as a Ramsar wetland site, one of 13 such sites in Poland.

Borders of Poland Political boundaries between Poland and neighboring territories

The Borders of Poland are 3511 or 3582 kilometers long. The neighboring countries are Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south, Ukraine and Belarus to the east, and Lithuania and the Russian province of Kaliningrad Oblast to the northeast. To the north, Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea.

Protected areas of Russia,, is governed by the corresponding 1995 law of the Russian Federation.

Landscape park (protected area)

A landscape park is a type of protected area in Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary and Slovenia. It is of lower status than a National Park and with less stringent restrictions on development and economic use.

Outline of Poland Overview of and topical guide to Poland

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Poland:

Masurian Landscape Park

Masurian Landscape Park is a designated Polish Landscape Park protected area within Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northern Poland.

Puszcza Piska

Puszcza Piska Forest or the Pisz Forest is the largest forest complex of the Masuria region in northern Poland, adjacent to the Masurian Landscape Park, and the Masurian Lowlands. Formerly known as the Jańsborska wilderness, Puszcza Piska bears the name of the Pisa river bordering the Forest along its west bank.

Categories of Natural Environment Protected Areas of Ukraine were reestablished (redefined) by the national parliament of Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union. On June 16, 1992 the President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk signed the law on the Nature-Preservation Fund of Ukraine. The law redefined already the established system of environment protection management for Ukraine as a fully sovereign and independent country. National Parks in Ukraine and other Protected Areas of Ukraine include Ramsar Sites in Ukraine, *Biosphere Preserves of Ukraine, National Nature Parks of Ukraine, Nature Preserves of Ukraine, Regional landscape parks of Ukraine, Nature monuments of Ukraine, Protected tracts of Ukraine and Habitat / Species Managed Areas of Ukraine.

Objects of cultural heritage in Poland

Objects of cultural heritage in Poland are tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland.

Nature reserves in Poland

Nature reserves in Poland cover a total area of 1,644,634 hectares, representing 0.53% of the territory of Poland. As of 2011, Poland has 1469 nature reserves.

Belarus–Poland border

The Belarusian-Polish border is the state border between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus It has a total length of 398.6 km (247.7 mi), 418 km (260 mi) or 416 km (258 mi). It starts from the triple junction of the borders with Lithuania in the north and stretches to the triple junction borders with Ukraine to the south. It is also part of the EU border with Belarus. The border runs along the administrative borders of two Voivodships Podlaskie and Lubelskie in the Polish side and Grodno and Brest Voblasts in the Belarusian side. In the Polish side, the 246.93 km (153.44 mi) section is under the protection of the Podlaskie Border Guard Unit, while the 171.31 km (106.45 mi) section is in the operation area of the Bug River Border Guard Unit. Border rivers are Czarna Hańcza, Wolkuszanka, Swislocz, Narew, and Western Bug.


  1. Act on Protection of Nature Archived 2006-09-08 at the Wayback Machine , 2004, published by the Polish Parliament
  2. Kancelaria Sejmu (April 16, 2004), Act on Protection of Nature (USTAWA z dnia 16 kwietnia 2004 r. o ochronie przyrody) See: Article 16 (1). PDF file, direct download 329 KB. Internet Archive. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  3. Fundacja WFF (February 7, 2011). "SPFF - parki narodowe/krajobrazowe i rezerwaty przyrody w SP (National and Landscape Parks, Nature Reserves; Poland)" (PDF file, direct download 66.9 KB). Polska Flora & Fauna (SPFF). Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  4. Dariusz Bochenek (ed.). "Ochrona środowiska 2012" (PDF). Warszawa: Główny Urząd Statystyczny. p. 278. ISSN   0867-3217 . Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  5. Dariusz Bochenek (ed.). "Ochrona środowiska 2012" (PDF). Warszawa: Główny Urząd Statystyczny. p. 277. ISSN   0867-3217 . Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  6. Dariusz Bochenek (ed.). "Ochrona środowiska 2012" (PDF). Warszawa: Główny Urząd Statystyczny. p. 286. ISSN   0867-3217 . Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  7. Teresa Podgórska; Zbigniew Sierota (2010). Las - człowiek... człowiek - las. Lasy Państwowe. p. 110. ISBN   978-83-61633-19-8 . Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  8. Obszary chronionego krajobrazu. Archived 2016-01-06 at the Wayback Machine 2009, Meridian.
  9. "The Birds Directive". Environment. European Union.
  10. "SCI definition in the Directive". Archived from the original on 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  11. "SAC definition in the Directive". Archived from the original on 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  12. "World Heritage".
  13. "The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands" . Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  14. "Ramsar List" (PDF). Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  15. "Ramsar Briefing Notes - Poland". Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  16. Sienkiewicz, Jadwiga (2008). Ramsar sites in Poland. Warsaw: Institute of Environmental Protection. p. 70. ISBN   8360312850.


  1. The natural site Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest is shared between Belarus and Poland.
  2. The cultural site Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski is shared between Germany and Poland.
  3. The cultural site "Wooden Tserkvas of Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine" is shared between Poland and Ukraine