“Man and Biosphere” (MAB)

The Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft biosphere reserve belongs to the worldwide family of UNESCO biosphere reserves. It was recognised in 1996. UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. This designation attests that the “UNESCO biosphere reserve recognition and review criteria for Germany” have been met. The OHTLBR meets these requirements, which took effect under Saxon law by virtue of the ordinance issued by the Ministry for the Environment and Regional Development of the state of Saxony on 18 December 1997.

The German UNESCO criteria include the international biosphere reserve requirements plus additional stipulations specific to Germany. These further expound on criteria such as minimum size and zoning, as well as functional requirements pertaining to activities such as nature reserve administration and issues such as biodiversity preservation and public relations. All of these criteria must be applied in such a way that life has and retains its basic human value for the inhabitants of these special nature reserves. This is because the thing that is truly special about the biosphere reserves is that they are intended to develop and promote the idea of an equal union between human life and activity and lasting preservation of the environment, which is the ultimate foundation of all life.

Once every 10 years, biosphere reserves must undergo an inspection by a UNESCO commission to see how they are getting along with harmonising the changing needs of humans and the environment.

Our biosphere reserve’s first evaluation was conducted in 2006. The International Advisory Committee declared to the state of Saxony in its assessment of 22 August 2007 that “this biosphere reserve could serve as an example within the global biosphere reserve network!”

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