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Protected areas
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Specially protected natural areas are geographical territories, that are under special state-level protection, in order to safeguard and maintain biodiversity of nature – rare and typical ecosystems, habitats for rare species,landscapes, that are peculiar, beautiful and characteristic for Latvia, geological and geomorphological formations, as well as territories, significant for recreational and educational purposes.
 
 
The protected areas are classified according following categories: strict nature reserves, nature parks, nature reserves , national parks, biosphere reserves, natural monuments, areas of protected landscapes.
 
 
 
 
Altogether in Latvia there are 683 specially protected nature areas certified by law or regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers On Specially Protected Nature Territories.   There is information given below about all specially protected nature areas that are found in the particular administrative territory:
  • 4 national parks.  National parks are broad areas which are characterised by outstanding nature formations of national significance, landscapes and cultural heritage landscapes untouched by human activities or nearly natural, a diversity of biotopes, abundance of cultural and historical monuments, and peculiarities of cultural environment.
  • 1 biosphere reserve. Biosphere reserve are broad territory in which landscapes and ecosystems of international significance are located. The goal of establishing biosphere reserves is to ensure the preservation of natural diversity and to promote sustainable social and economic development of the territory.
  • 42 nature parks. Nature parks are territories that represent the natural, cultural and historical values of a particular area, and that are suitable for recreation, education and the instruction of society. Organisation of recreation and economic activities in nature parks shall be carried out by ensuring the preservation of the natural, cultural and historical values located in such parks.
  • 9 protected landscape areas. Protected landscape areas are territories remarkable for original and diverse landscapes and special beauty. The goals of such territories are to protect and preserve the cultural environment and landscapes characteristic of Latvia in all their diversity, as well as to ensure the preservation of environment appropriate for recreation of society and for tourism, and use of environment friendly management methods.
  • 261 nature reserves. Nature reserves are nature territories little transformed or transformed in varying degrees by human activities, which territories include habitats of specially protected wild plant and animal species, and specially protected biotopes.
  • 4 strict nature reserves.  Strict nature reserves are territories untouched by human activities or nearly natural, in which territories unhindered development of natural processes shall be ensured in order to protect and study rare or typical ecosystems and parts thereof. Strict nature reserves shall have zones in which all natural resources are completely excluded from economic and other activities.
  • 7 marine protected areas.  Marine protected areas are locations in the territorial sea, exclusive economic zone or continental shelf of the Republic of Latvia, which are established for the protection of protected biotopes and specially protected species habitat, as well as migratory bird significant feeding and wintering places.
  • 355 nature monuments. Nature monuments are separate, isolated natural formations: protected trees, dendrological plantings, avenues, geological and geomorphological nature monuments and other natural rarities having scientific, cultural and historical, aesthetic or ecological value. 

In Latvia also established:

Data (Information available in Latvian) of the Latvian specially protected natural territories micro-reserves, species and habitats in nature data management system  OAK (OZOLS).