What is a protected area?
Protected areas in Iceland, established by legal gazettement, are divided into nine categories. They are based on IUCN´s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) classification system for protected areas. Thus, protected areas in Iceland are comparable to protected areas in other countries.
Decision on categories depends on what the objectives of the conservation are, e.g. characteristics of the areas, their vulnerability, accessibility, and scientific research. A protected area can fall into more than one category with zonation. For example, different areas within a national park can be defined into different categories. The classification is intended to assist in the planning of protected areas, management and the promotion of information about the areas.