Strict nature reserves or wilderness areas are areas of land or sea where a particular form of ecosystem exists in something of its natural state. These areas are available principally for scientific research or environmental monitoring, or where particular natural features or rare species receive protection.
National parks are protected wilderness areas where ecosystem conservation and human recreation are combined and managed. These areas restrict economic exploitation or human settlement, and provide for scientific, educational and cultural activity. National parks often exist at the sites of natural monuments such as geological features, or cultural sites such as ancient settlements.
Habitat and species management areas are wilderness areas where specific programmes of intervention are underway usually to maintain or restore habitat or to provide for specific species of plant or animal under conservation.
Protected areas often involve landscapes and seascapes where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced unique characteristics with significant aesthetic, cultural and ecological features, often with high biological diversity. Protecting the integrity of these traditional interactions is considered important for the protection, maintenance and evolution of these areas.
Managed resource areas often involve important examples of natural ecosystems, usually in an unmodified state where biodiversity is high. The protection of these wilderness areas usually involves local community participation where resources are removed from the area within agreed terms to maintain the ongoing ecosystem and diversity.