A national park is a
An international organization, the
While this type of national park had been proposed previously, the United States established the first "public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people",
National parks are almost always open to visitors.
In 1969, the IUCN declared a national park to be a relatively large area with the following defining characteristics:
In 1971, these criteria were further expanded upon leading to more clear and defined benchmarks to evaluate a national park. These include:
While the term national park is now defined by the IUCN, many protected areas in many countries are called national park even when they correspond to other categories of the IUCN Protected Area Management Definition, for example:
While national parks are generally understood to be administered by national governments (hence the name), in Australia national parks are run by state governments and predate the
In many countries, including Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, national parks do not adhere to the IUCN definition, while some areas which adhere to the IUCN definition are not designated as national parks.