National Parks (NPs) were the first protected areas (PAs) designated in Spain one century ago. NPs are PAs of exceptional natural and cultural value that are representative of the Spanish natural heritage. Currently, there are 15 NPs in Spain covering almost 400,000 ha, although new site designations are being considered. Spanish NPs’ main objectives are closely linked to the sustainability concept: conserving natural and cultural assets in the long term and promoting public use, environmental awareness, research and socioeconomic development. Here, the history of modern nature conservation in Spain is summarized, with special focus on NPs. Moreover, the main monitoring and assessment initiatives in Spanish National Parks are reviewed. Finally, the major results of two current research projects focusing on the sustainability of Spanish NPs, DISESGLOB and SOSTPARK, are provided.
Part of the book: National Parks