The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve "Oberlausitzer Heide- & Teichlandschaft"

What is a biosphere reserve?

The term is taken from the Greek “biosphere”, meaning “living space”. This refers to all space where life can exist on our Earth. The “Biosphere Reserves” are designated areas in this living space that require special protection by people.

These nature reserves, found throughout the world, comprise the foundation of a UNESCO network called “MAN AND BIOSPHERE” (MAB).  The primary objective of biosphere reserves is to demonstrate how human work and economic activity can be carried out in harmony with the environment

The “Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft” UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Goebelner_Heide Großteich_Sdier

Göbelner Heide & Großteich Sdier (Photos: D. Weis)

The “Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft” biosphere reserve celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. Due to its unique natural features, the central area of the nature zone of the same name was protected back in 1990 as a landscape conservation area of major significance. In 1994 it received a temporary designation as a biosphere reserve. The designation provided this superb, centuries-old cultural landscape with a worthy system of support, ensuring its preservation, care and future development under expert supervision and guidance. 1996 saw the announcement that it would be recognised as the 13th UNESCO biosphere reserve in Germany under the “Man and Biosphere” (MAB) programme. The overarching objective is to harmonise preservation of natural diversity with economic development.

  • Size: 30,102 ha, almost half of which is nature reserve
  • Location: In the eastern part of the state of Saxony.
  • Protected status: Since 1994, temporary designation as biosphere reserve; in 1996, recognised as 13th UNESCO biosphere reserve in Germany.
  • Inhabitants:approx. 12,800
  • Landscape type: One of the largest pond areas in Germany
  • Special details:Bilingual region (German and Sorbian), contains a former brown coal opencast mining zone encompassing nearly 2,000 ha
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