The protected areas in Northwest Russia are divided into different categories of protection and management. In strict nature reserves (zapovednik) no economic activities are permitted. National parks are designated to nature conservation, research, educational and cultural purposes as well as controlled recreational activities. In national parks there are restrictions to the management of natural resources. Nature parks (prirodnyi park) are the equivalent of the Norwegian national parks, designated to both protecting natural values and providing recreational opportunities in the parks. In nature reserves (zakaznik) human activities are limited and a certain species, ecosystem or object of nature is protected. Nature monuments (prirodnyi pamyatnik) are exceptional objects of living or inorganic nature, such as landscapes, that need protection for scientific, cultural or historic reasons.
In Norway area protection is regulated through the Nature Conservation Act where four various categories might be conserved. This are national parks, protected landscape, nature reserves and natural monuments. The protected areas are intended to safeguard a representative section of habitats and landscapes for future generations and protect areas of special value for plants and animals. It is also important to protect areas for maintaining viable populations of flora and fauna.
Protected areas in Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic, were originally established under the 1925 Svalbard Act. When the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act entered into force in 2002, all national parks and nature reserves in Svalbard was protected under the new act. In all, 65 per cent of the area of the islands is protected, together with about 75 per cent of the territorial waters out to the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit. The newest national park, Indre Wijdefjorden, was established in 2005.