In the Canary Islands nature protection is implemented through a system of 8 national legal categories -one national (National Parks)- and seven regional. The last were created by Act 12/1994 of 19th of December of Natural Protected Areas of the Canary Islands. These categories establish different degrees of protection according to the interest and fragility of the specific areas. Such categories are: Nature Parks, Rural Parks, Integral Nature Reserve, Special Nature Reserve, Natural Monuments, Protected Landscapes and Sites of Scientific Interest.
Protected Areas in La Gomera include the eight categories -including a National Park. In all there are 17 protected areas which comprise an area of 30,765 acres - one third of the island surface area.
Garajonay National Park is located in the middle of the island. It holds the best laurel forest community in the world. It is a member of the Spanish Network of National Parks.
The Integral Nature Reserve of Benchijigua, situated in Benchijigua depression in San Sebastián, has highly remarkable geomorphological and botanical values.
The Special Natural Reserve of Puntallana is an interesting peneplain, unique in La Gomera. It is situated on the north of San Sebastián and contains an excellent community of tabaibal dulce.
The Nature Park of Majona, situated on the northeast of San Sebastián, is an old communal pasture in which shepherding can still be found. The flora includes an interesting tabaibal community as well as plant species typical of the basal layer and an important representation of myrtle and heather.
The Rural Park of Valle Gran Rey, located in Gran Rey valley, possesses striking geomorphological features such as deep ravines, steep slopes, water springs and botanical endemics. Human activity has left remarkable agricultural terraces which climb the slopes, palm tree forests surrounding the crops and small houses dotted about the landscape.
The Natural Monument of Los Órganos is situated on the north coast of Vallehermoso. It is a cliff of ancient volcanic rocks, the erosion of which has produced characteristic organ tube-like columns dropping vertically into the sea.
The Natural Monument of Roque Cano is a phonolitic plug which rises on one of the slopes that surround Vallehermoso town centre. This spectacular massif is part of the image and the history of Vallehermoso, and a motif in the coat of arms of the town.
The Natural Monument of Roque Blanco has a similar origin to that of Roque Cano. It has gentle slopes which harbour one of the best populations of madrońos (Arbutus canariensis) of the islands.
The Natural Monument of La Fortaleza is located in Chipude. It has the shape of a plateau of trachyte-phonolite rocks and steep walls. On the top some rare endemics such as siemprevivas occur.
The Natural Monument of El Cabrito stretches over the middle and lower parts of El Cabrito ravine, in San Sebastián. It is located on the leeward side of the island and thus coastal and xerophilous plants abound with euphorbias and palm tree forests.
The Natural Monument of La Caldera hosts the best preserved volcanic cone of La Gomera with predominant tabaibal.
The Natural Monument of Lomo del Carretón is a cliff with an altitude ranging between 450 and 850 m. It comprises a good number of botanical endemics and introduced plant species.
The Natural Monument of Los Roques is situated on the crest which separates the heads of 2 ravines: La Laja and Benchijigua. This area contains 4 volcanic plugs: Agando, Ojila, La Zarcita and Carmona, spectacular examples of volcanic intrusions (the solidification of lava inside volcanic chimneys, before reaching the surface) where subsequent erosion has left these plugs exposed.
The Protected Landscape of Orone comprises 2 great ravines: Erque-La Rajita and La Negra. In this area, ideal for hiking, semi-abandoned hamlets such as Erque and Erquito can be found as well as the abandoned tuna-canning factory of La Rajita.
The Place of Scientific Interest Cliffs of Alajeró is of difficult access by land yet possesses a remarkable beauty when seen from the sea. It is characterized by the presence of botanical species such as plocama pendula and seabirds such as shearwaters.
The Place of Scientific Interest Charco del Conde is a coastal ecosystem comprising a natural seawater pool frequently used by children, and the surrounding variety of botanical species such as the tarajal (Tamarix canariensis). There are neighbouring restaurants and tourist accommodation.
The Place of Scientific Interest Charco del Cieno is also a coastal ecosystem, situated on the coast of Valle Gran Rey. It is characterized by salt-loving flora such as Tamarix canariensis and the presence of a small area of sand-dunes