Visits to protected areas

The "Visits to protected areas" fact sheet reveals the interest of the Portuguese population in the natural heritage found in the national protected areas, reflecting the importance of biodiversity conservation and management for the Portuguese citizens.


Protected areas correspond to classified terrestrial and inland aquatic areas, as well as marine areas, whose biodiversity or other natural occurrences have, due to their rarity, scientific, ecological, social or scenic value, a special relevance. As provided for in the Legal Framework for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity, which establishes the National Protected Areas Network (RNAP), these areas require specific conservation and management tools, aimed at promoting the sound management of their natural resources and the enhancement of their natural and cultural heritage.

Involving the population is essential for the conservation of the biodiversity found in these areas so, one of the objectives of this fact sheet is to assess the attitudes of the public, including its motivation to get to know the natural heritage and to take part in activities that contribute to its management.

The information provided in this fact sheet corresponds to the progress analysis of the following indicators:

  • No. of visitors in reception facilities (structures with the capacity to provide information and welcome visitors, including the facilities of the main offices of national protected areas and the interpretation centres under the management of the ICNF);
  • No. of visitors in guided tours organised by the ICNF;
  • No. of participants in events, including events organised by the ICNF, by third parties and authorised by the ICNF and, also, organised in partnership with the ICNF;
  • No. of participants in volunteer activities organised by the ICNF (such as beach cleaning, removal of ice plant and acacia, among others).

This fact sheet concerns mainland Portugal and the national protected areas and shall be updated on an annual basis.

Objectives and targets: 
  • Increase the public interest in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
  • Increase the levels of public participation in concrete actions for the conservation of protected areas;
  • Increase the visibility of the natural heritage;
  • Add social and economic value to the natural heritage, the services provided by the ecosystems and the protected areas.
Progress analysis:
Last update: 
Wednesday, 17 April, 2019