The Regional Parks represents a selection of Norway that includes a variety of landscapes, such as high alpine mountains, fjords, canals and deep forests. The mission of regional parks in Norway is to increase cooperation regarding the caretaking and further enhancement of natural- and cultural values in defined landscape- and identity regions.
The working areas of regional parks are rural development, landscape management, sustainable tourism and heritage interpretation.
The first regional parks are now ten years old and can show good results. The main goal for regional parks in Norway in the years ahead is to be incorporated into the national legal framework and to receive base funding for operating costs. A revision of natural and cultural heritage laws, incorporating a more integrated park policy, similar to Switzerland, would be a good model for Norway and other Nordic countries.
The legal background is not yet based on separate national laws, but is planned according to the plan and buidling act. The regional parks are established as associations formed by municipalities, regional authorities and private partners.
The name of the umbrella organization for the regional parks of Norway is; Norwegian Parks Association (Norske Parker). It was etablished in 2011.
Norway has 9 established regional parks: Valdres Nature and Culture Park, Nærøyfjorden World Heritage Park, Telemark Canal Regional Park, Halden Canal Regional Park, Finnskogen Nature & Culture Park, Okstindan Nature and Culture Park, Vefsna Regional Park, Varanger Regional Park and Fjordcoast regional- and geopark. The parks include 40 municipalities and have more than 300 local partners.