About 8% of the territory of the Piedmont region is protected by a hundred regional and provincial natural parks, naturalistic oases, state natural reserves and two national parks (Gran Paradiso and Val Grande). About 2/3 of the protected areas are in the mountains and 1/3 in the plains and hills. The first in Italy to pass a framework law (in 1975), the Piedmont Region approved the first regional plan of protected areas in 1977, allowing the concrete establishment of the first parks and nature reserves. In 1995, biotopes were classified and protected. The Park of the Po river belt has recently been established, covering the entire Piedmontese stretch of the largest Italian river, from Monviso to the border with Lombardy.
168 SIC (sites of Community importance) and 41 SPAs (special protection areas) have been identified as part of the Natura 2000 project of the European Union, which will bring the regional area subject to protection to 12%.
Punta Gnifetti - Alta Valsesia Natural Park (photo CAI Vigone)
Val Grande National Park (photo www.parcovalgrande.it)