In a country with four seasons, nature always has something new and interesting to offer. To continue enjoying our versatile and northern natural environment in Estonia, it is vital to protect the delicate natural community.Any person can contribute to the conservation of nature. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life it is important to keep our valuable natural environment in mind in order to take reasonable care of our surroundings and environment.
In 1994, Estonia ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is the largest convention on nature conservation and covers all traditional aspects of nature conservation along with environmental protection covering anything from gene protection to the protection of ecosystems. The entire country is responsible for implementing this convention to sustain a healthy and habitable environment. This directive is the basis for the Estonian Nature Conservation Act.
On 31 December 2013, Estonia had a total amount of 3,883 protected natural sites:
- 138 nature conservation areas;
- 151 landscape conservation areas;
- 5 national parks;
- 111 protected areas with old protection regulation;
- 540 parks and forest stands;
- 344 special conservation areas;
- 1,350 species protection sites;
- 21 natural objects protected at the local government level;
- 1,223 separate protected natural objects.
In Estonia, the total area under protection is 1,548,124 hectares, which makes up to 22% of the total area (including territorial sea). 18% of the land is under protection. Hiiu and Pärnu Counties have the largest total protected areas (24%), whereas Põlva County has the smallest (9%).