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Protected nature 2018:

Protected nature accounts for 15 percent of Sweden’s terrestrial area

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden and Swedish Environmental Protection Agency 2019-05-24 9.30

The protected nature that emerged in 2018 consisted of almost 60 percent of forest land. Marine areas accounted for 22 percent and 12 percent were open wetlands.

Nationally designated areas of protection encompass almost 9 million hectares in total (marine areas included). Land areas and inland water account for 75 percent of that area. This represents 15 percent of Sweden’s land surface, including inland waters.

 Number of areas Area in hectareShare out of Sweden’s total land area, including inland waters
Type of protection Total area, including marine waterland areaMarine watersInland water  
Permanent formal protection
           
National parks
30 743 235 633 651 63 604 45 981 1.6%
Nature reserves
4 930 4 808 590 3 939 158 309 402 560 030 9.5%
Nature conservation areas
90 149 161 109 471 13 345 26 345 0.3%
Habitat protection areas in forest land
8 251 30 392 30 326 64 2 0.1%
Habitat protection areas, other
114 314 264 4 46 0.0%
National City Park
1 2 614 1 806 14 794 0.0%
Natura 2000
4 539 7 794 568 4 748 246 1 042 676 2 003 646 12.9%
Total, overlapping areas not included
  8 690 671 5 380 269 1 086 743 2 223 659 14.5%
 
           
Time-limited formal protection
           
Nature conservation agreements
18 262 170 219 168 759 1 439 21 0.4%
 
           
Agreement between government agencies
           
Fortifications Administration
59 32 284 30 851 1 378 56 0.1%
All of the above types of protection, overlapping areas not included
  8 893 318 5 580 044 1 089 560 2 223 714 14.9%

Since 2012, designated protected areas (marine and terrestrial) have increased by 1.6 million hectares. The new protection mainly consists of marine areas, of which a large share were constituted in 2016 in the form of Natura 2000.

Nationally designated areas, most commonly located in national parks and nature reserves, are unevenly distributed across the country because of the need to protect large old-growth forest areas in mountainous regions. Eighty percent of the national designated land area is located in the three northernmost counties. The protected areas in these counties are concentrated in the mountains or along the edge of the mountain chain.

Sweden has large areas of protected nature per capita compared with other countries in Europe. On the other hand, if we consider protected nature as a share of the total area, many other European countries have protected larger shares of their territories.

Definitions and explanations

Protected areas are defined here as statutory protection of nature regulated by the Environmental Code. Until 1 January 1999, the main legislative provision for nature protection in Sweden was embodied in the Act on the Management of Natural Resources (NRL). On 1 January 1999, this Act was replaced by the Environmental Code.

Publication

A more detailed report of this survey is published in the Statistical Report Protected Nature 2018 (pdf).

 

Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency

Statistics Sweden, Environmental accounts and Environment

Address
Box 24 300
104 51 Stockholm

Enquiries

Karin Hedeklint

Telephone
+46 10 479 45 14
E-mail
karin.hedeklint@scb.se

Producer

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Address
106 48 Stockholm

Enquiries

Birgitta Olsson

Telephone
+46 10 698 10 00
E-mail
birgitta.olsson@naturvardsverket.se