National Parks of Vittmark

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Latest revision as of 23:00, 13 June 2019

The National Parks of Vittmark is an ongoing project to establish at least 18 national parks. The project started early 7580 as an initiative from the House of Lords with the aim of having decided about establishment by 7584 when Vittmark celebrates its second decade anniversary and opening in 7587, coinciding with Quuen Anna's 20 year jubileum as the reigning monarch.

Contents

Background

With the museum for natural history Gårdarna nearing completion, the federal government was looking for a new focus for a so-called soft development project, this time in each member state. It was the House of Lords that took the initiative for legislation regarding National Parks in 7579. This was only the 5th time in Vittmarker history that the House of Lords came with its own proposal.

The idea has been anchored with the state governments first, before it was sent to the executive Second Cabinet. Even though there is some objection about the practicalities, there was a broad general support for the idea. Key element in the proposal is that the states can allocate a part of their contribution to the federal budget for this project themselves, making this a more decentralized effort.

After ratification in parliament, a National Park Committee was appointed with 18 members, one from each member state. They from smaller committees of 5 persons each in order to guide the process towards a National Park proposal (deadline 7584) and establishment (deadline 7587). In case a state does not found a National Park, the financial resources labeled for the project will be redistributed among the states that have instigated a National Park.

Requirements

A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that the state or federation declares or owns. The common idea is the conservation of wild nature or culturally unique landscapes for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. Where other nations focus on wildlife preservation, the Vittmarker parks will definitely focus on man-made landscapes and installations as well.

Tha National Parks Committee has defined an outline for a National Park, but since this is an ongoing process in cooperation with state government, formulation and requirements might change druing the establishment process. A park should meet the following requirements:

  • A natural area not materially altered by human exploitation and occupation, whithe plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and natural habitats; or a natural landscape of great beauty; or a larger site or complex having cultural, historical, scientific, educational and inspirational or other form of significance. The latter could also include archetypical agricultural landscapes or larger sites of other cultural heritage.
  • The state or federal authority will take or has taken steps to prevent or eliminate exploitation or occupation as soon as possible in the whole area and to effectively enforce the respect of ecological, geomorphological, or aesthetic features which have led to its establishment.
  • A preferred minimum size of 1,000 hectares within zones in which protection has precedence.
  • Visitors are allowed to enter, under special conditions, for inspirational, educative and cultural purposes. At least one facility accomodating for visitors from all states should be founded within or within the close proximity of the park.
  • Each National Park will require a maintenance strategy, aimed at protecting the values that are the foundation of establishing the park, including budget and staff sufficient to provide effective protection.
  • The aim is to have the state level governments spend one Vittmarker Crown on establishing a national park and a visiting facility connected to it.

Challenges

Other nations that already have established National Parks have only about a handfull each and worked 25 years on establishing those. The goal of founding 18 parks seems overly ambitious. On top of that, in large parts of the country the natural and cultural landscapes are not under threat of exploitation or settlement. The sparsely populated south for example is largely unexploited mountain terrain, which will remain as good as unchanged in the coming century even without protection.

Of the 18 member states, three are non-territorial and therefore unable to establish a National Park without the help of other member states or the federal government. On top of that there are three city states with very limited area. This makes establishment within their borders really challenging, if they do not opt for a cultural heritage park. There is also the possibility to establish (part of) the park outside the state borders in cooperation with another state. This forced cooperation is seen as a positive side effect of the project. Some territorial states see this as an opportunity to attract funds from other states to be spend within their boundaries.

Two states have such a small population that the earmarked funding will be too small to establish something that meets all requirements. Both are also non-territorial and will have to rely on federally controlled land in order to create a National Park. For five member states the requirement of finding funds in the range of a crown per person will be challenging, since the income per capita in these states is significantly lower. One member state lacks a monetary economy.

First preliminary proposals

  • Bengtist Stift has started talks about preserving the Gäddedevida highlands in the Inälvsdalen province of the state of Sörmark in the form of a National Park. The idea as such is widely accepted, since the area is of significance of the Stift and appreciated by many. Even some preliminary visitor facilities have already been established here.
  • Fisks has proposed a large part of the coral reefs of Gilles Villes, as well as a section of the main island itself as a potential National Park. Gilles Villes is of very limited economic value to Fisks, since only a small portion is arable land, managed by a single stim.
  • Kakuri nation is looking into the idea of designating the entire Eastern Crown Domains as National Park. This idea is however controversial, since it is interpreted as a self preservation measurement for the entire community. Even here a basic visitor facility is already present.
  • Kulla kronområde will not pursuit the conservation of its 17 mansions in the form of a National Park, even though the constellation of mansions would meet most requirements. Kulla however sees the current way of management as adequate for continued use and conservation.
  • Sörmark has already declared that it does not want to have more than two National Parks on its territory: its own and Gäddedevida of Bengtist Stift. This would cause serious problems for Fjällsta Stift to establish a National Park in the region where 90% of its population lives.
  • Östvallen will be looking into the possibilities to preserve the several layers of urban development as a structure with some designated key buildings to represent those layers. It would include the ruins of Skiöldavik, the Dämmanö fortress, most of the Old Town, the palace complex of Östervallen and the main structure of large parts of the New Town as imperial capital. The main challenge will be to safeguard the high cultural and historical values without limiting the possibilities of the capital to develop further.
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