Deutsche UNESCO Kommission e.V.

The biosphere reserve Berchtesgadener Land

Location of the biosphere reserve

The UNESCO biosphere reserve Berchtesgaden is located in the Berchtesgaden Alps (150 km south-east of Munich at the border to Austria) in the far Southeast of Germany. It is the only alpine biosphere reserve in Germany with an elevation of up to 2,700 meters above sea level. However, the transition zone is situated in low elevated areas (about 500 meters above sea level) in the north of the mountain ranges. Therefore, the biosphere reserve encompasses submontane, montane and subalpine forests and alpine meadows

The reserve is full of prime and internationally known tourist attractions: Watzmann, the second highest peak in Germany, the idyllic lake Königsee and famous spas. The national park Berchtesgaden is the core and the buffer zone of the biosphere reserve and provides habitats for species such as edelweiss, gentian, marmot, and chamois.

The Watzmann (Photo by the BR) The gentian (Photo by the BR) The mountain slope (Photo by the BR)


Agriculture is a challenge, because of both the climate and the small-scale structures. The biosphere reserve intervenes supportively and also develops sustainable alternatives for the region’s most important sector: tourism. Results have been, among others, specific offers for people with allergies as well as alternatives to traditional ski tourism, which is increasingly threatened by climate change.

Website (in German) : www.brbgl.de