An area, a term that comes from the Latin area, is a space or terrain that is delimited in some way, whether physical or symbolic. Protected, on the other hand, is that which has protection (protection, protection).
The protected areas in this context are utilities that are established with the aim of caring for its biodiversity and natural conditions. These areas are subject to a particular legal regime to ensure their adequate conservation.
By establishing a protected area, authorities try to minimize the impact of human action on the environment. It is possible that in a protected area it is not allowed to build, drive or light a fire, to name a few actions that threaten nature.
There are different kinds of protected areas according to the legislation of each country. A protected landscape, for example, is a natural territory that is preserved for its cultural and aesthetic qualities. In this particular case, the human being may have even intervened significantly in the environment; However, the combination resulting from its actions and the response of nature has given a well defined area, with unmatched beauty and incalculable value from a cultural or ecological point of view.
It is worth mentioning that the protected landscape can be marine or terrestrial. Among the most significant examples are the Protected Landscape of Las Lagunetas, located on the island of Tenerife (Spain) and the Santa Teresa National Park. The latter is called “national park” although it is not the category to which it belongs, which is defined below; the inconsistency is because he was baptized years before the classification system we use today was implemented.
When you want to contribute to the conservation of the fauna, flora or geology of a place, you can create a protected area known as an ecological reserve or natural reserve: the Ecological Reserve of Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Sierra Natural Reserve from Malcata (Portugal), etc.
The national park is another type of protected area that has an extraordinary legal status. These are spaces in which there are one or more ecosystems that are not significantly threatened by human action, since it does not exploit or occupy them to the point of being able to alter them considerably. Some of the most important examples within this category are the Cabo Polonio National Park in Uruguay, the Table Mountain National Park in South Africa and the Lake Tai National Park in China.
In national parks we can find animal and plant species, habitats and geomorphological sites of great interest to science, the field of education or even the recreation industry. It goes without saying that the beauty of these landscapes has almost no rivals, and that is why they are often used by filmmakers to impact the public with scenarios that often seem like fantasy for those who have never left the city.
Another space that we can consider within the group of protected areas is the natural monument, where it is common to find one or more well-defined natural elements that represent incalculable value at the national level, such as threatened habitats —both plant and animal species—, a site seen only there or very particular geological formations. In the same way as in most of the previous cases, the intervention of the human being in a natural monument is not always allowed, or it must be submitted to a very strict level of control and it cannot be on a large scale.