Guidelines on evaluating the national parks of Austria
Bernd Pfleger, Michael Jungmeier
National parks have a wide variety of tasks: As well as protecting and conserving the last undisturbed regions, they also serve as places for environmental education, experiencing nature and relaxation. They are research areas and should contribute to the sustainable economic development of the national park regions. The Austrian national parks need to be evaluated at regular intervals to assess whether they are able to achieve these objectives and whether public resources are being used effectively. Potential for improvement should also be pinpointed. In the study by E.C.O. a catalogue of criteria was developed from international comparisons and experiences gained during the evaluation of the Gesäuse National Park. This is intended to form the outline for future evaluations of the Austrian national parks. As a continuation of this, the national parks will compile individual evaluation methods in coordination with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the responsible bodies.