National Park System, Sweden
In 1909, Sweden took the lead in Europe in establishing the first group of nine national parks through legislation. The 29 national parks in Sweden are managed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More than 90% of the area of the parks is mountainous. The large parks are mostly in northern Sweden, such as the Sarek National Park and the Padjelanta National Park, each of which covers an area of 2,000 km2. Many parks are now part of the northern region of Lapland, where the indigenous Sami people live. They have a harmonious culture based on the domestication of local reindeer. These regions are now listed on the World Heritage List. Because of the forest coverage, the total area of the three national parks in southern Sweden (Soderfisen, Dalby and Stenshuvud) is less than 20 km2.