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15 biosphere reserves in Germany

The German biosphere reserves cover almost 3 % of the German land area. “Biosphere reserve” is a category in the German federal law for nature conservation. All 15 territories designated as UNESCO biosphere reserves are at the same time categorized under German law. Details on the MAB implementation in Germany

The 15 territories represent important German habitats, typical landscapes and the diversity of ecosystems, fauna and flora in this country. Almost all biosphere reserves are cultural landscapes, which are cultivated at different levels of intensity; almost all are located in rural areas.

Because of the low environmental impact and their attractive landscape, the German biosphere reserves are popular recreation areas for tourists.

© Elbe River Landscape
© Wadden Sea and Halligen Islands of Schleswig-Holstein
© Achim Dosdall: Spree Forest
© South-East Rügen
© Gertrud Hein: Rhön
© Lutz Möller: Upper Lausitz
© Schaalsee
© Swabian Alb
© Fredi Brabaend: Bliesgau

Year of UNESCO designation: 1979 (Extension 1997)
Area: 3.540 km2
Federal states: Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1979
(Extensions 1986 and 1990)
Area: 171 km2
Federal state: Thuringia
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1990
(Extension and renaming 2010)
Area: 840 km2
Federal state: Bavaria
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1990
(Extension and renaming 2004)
Area: 4.431 km2
Federal state: Schleswig-Holstein
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1990
Area: 1.292 km2
Federal state: Brandenburg
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1991
Area: 475 km2
Federal state: Brandenburg
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1991
Area: 235 km2
Federal state: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1991
Area: 1.850 km2
Federal states: Bavaria, Hesse, Thuringia
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1992
Area: 2.400 km2
Federal state: Lower Saxony
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1992
Area: 117 km2
Federal state: Hamburg
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1996
Area: 301 km2
Federal state: Saxony
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 1998
Area: Transboundary (Germany and France) 3.018 km2,
1.780 km2 in Germany
Federal state (in Germany): Rhineland-Palatinate
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 2000
Area: 309 km2
Federal state: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 2009
Area: 850 km2
Federal state: Baden-Wuerttemberg
 

Year of UNESCO designation: 2009
Area: 361 km2
Federal state: Saarland
 

The German biosphere reserves cooperate closely and have semi-annual meetings. Via the organization Europarc Germany they exchange information and best practice with German National Parks and Nature Parks. "Nationale Naturlandschaften" is the joint marketing label introduced in late 2005 for all biosphere reserves, national parks and nature parks.

The secretariat of the MAB National Committee – and the first contact for all questions relating to biosphere reserves in Germany – is the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

Europarc Germany

Nationale Naturlandschaften

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