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Natural Parks in France
In France there are 5 national parks and 30 regional parks. The national parks, with the exception of the Cevennes, are not permanently inhabited. They are controlled by the state. The national parks have a central zone which has total protection from human activities. Walking and some fishing is permitted but there are no cars and no hunting. Around the central zone is a buffer zone where human activities such as farming are allowed but under strict control.
The regional parks in France are all inhabited and they are controlled locally. They must protect nature but they must also let human actives continue. This is not always easy as many of them are in beautiful parts of France where there is a lot of tourism. In general, the regional parks have been very successful and 16 more are being planned.
Port-Cros is the only marine national park. It is an island in the Mediterranean.
How does France compare with other parts of the world?
France has about 4,5% of its territory as protected nature reserves or parks.
Europe as whole has about 7%, whilst North America has 9% and the ex Soviet Union 1%