In Abruzzo, environmental protection is entrusted to a very extensive and complex system of protection; in fact, about a third of the regional surface is made up of national and regional protected areas both in mountain areas and in those near the coast, the whole area is affected by the conspicuous presence of other areas with different protective nature. For this, besides the presence of the great parks, it is important to highlight the existence of an intricate network of nature reserves and protected areas at Community and international level, sometimes arranged in superposition with each other.
Much of the National and Regional Parks were established through the "framework law n. 394 of 1991 ", the Law that brought together and renewed the previous regulations on the protection of the protected areas. This legislation has dictated the fundamental principles of the establishment and management of protected natural areas in Italy, in order to guarantee and promote, in a coordinated manner, the conservation and enhancement of the natural heritage of the country. In the framework law the definition of National Park is as follows:”area made up of land, river, lake and marine areas containing one or more ecosystem that is either intact or only partially degraded by human intervention, one or more physical, geological, geomorphological or biological formation of international or national importance on natural, scientific, aesthetic, cultural, educational and recreational grounds, such that it requires the intervention of the State in order to preserve it for present and future generations”.
The "framework law" aims to combine the needs of conservation and nature protection with the interests of local people through the launch of forms of sustainable development within the protected area. The protection of natural and environmental values, that the law entrusts to the Park, is pursued through the Park Plan tool, which divides the territory into account the different levels of protection. The territory of the park is therefore articulated "in areas or parts characterized by different forms of use, enjoyment and protection."