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We are Biosphere!

Be part of it!

The UNESCO designation of the district as a biosphere reserve offers all people, institutions, organizations and companies within the Berchtesgadener Land the chance to shape the district as a model region for sustainable development. Together with the administration office of the biosphere, projects and initiatives can be initiated and implemented. The range of potential subjects is diverse and includes all aspects of sustainability.

All people who live, work or visit the Berchtesgadener Land have an influence on its presence and future. If everyone becomes aware of their potential to contribute, we can accomplish a lot together. The UNESCO designation of the district as a biosphere reserve offers all people, institutions, organizations and companies the opportunity to use it as a seal of quality and a unique selling point. Berchtesgadener Land is also a designated LEADER region, a “Gesundheitsregion plus” (health region plus) and an “Bildungsregion” (education region). It is for these reasons that Berchtesgadener Land has been awarded the UNESCO designation. In addition, it is the only alpine and pre-alpine biosphere reserve in Germany. This gives it the potential to stand out on a Bavarian and national level and to draw attention to the region, its projects and developments. The Biosphere Region can act as a thematic bracket for the sustainability issues of all participants in the Berchtesgadener Land under the cover of the UNESCO designation and thus increase the joint visibility and impact.
In the following, people and organizations – here called actors – are listed who are crucial for a sustainable development of our biosphere reserve.

The local people

The acceptance of the local population as well as their participation are essential for the success of a biosphere reserve. To achieve this, it is important to inform people on a broad and regular basis and to actively involve them in planning and decision-making. Because everyone is directly involved in shaping the biosphere reserve through his or her daily actions. Be it by buying regional products, consciously avoiding plastic packaging in the supermarket, deciding in favor of the bicycle instead of the car, or creating a flowering meadow or pond in one’s own garden. The Berchtesgadener Land Biosphere Region is becoming more sustainable, more unique and more colorful every day through people’s conscious actions and cooperation.

The municipalities and the Berchtesgadener Land district

The regional authorities of our Biosphere Region – the politics and the administrations of the district and of the 15 municipalities, markets and cities – make important contributions to the sustainable development of our region. They create important parameters and at the same time they are the motor and motivator for the implementation of a model region for sustainable development.

District development

The administrative department for district development in the Berchtesgadener Land district office is entrusted with tasks crucial to the sustainable development of our region. These include climate protection and mobility management as well as the coordination, support and implementation of the Bildungsregion (education region) and the LEADER region. The Berchtesgadener Land Wirtschaftsservice GmbH, the Energieagentur Südostbayern GmbH and the office of the Gesundheitsregionplus are other important institutions that support municipalities, companies and citizens.

Specialized authorities and institutions

Specialized authorities and institutions perform sovereign functions and ensure that the legal framework is properly implemented. For example, they provide professional support to the district office as the legal authority in the context of approval procedures, or oversee applications for funding. They also carry out advisory functions in their respective fields – be it health, construction, nature conservation, water and groundwater protection, agriculture, forestry, social affairs or education. In addition, they run their own projects and maintain the areas under their jurisdiction. By sharing their expertise and ensuring compliance with legal frameworks, they play an important role in shaping and developing the Berchtesgadener Land Biosphere Region. The Bayerische Staatsforsten (BaySF), as an institution under public law, is responsible for the implementation of protection and conservation measures in the parts of the biosphere region’s maintenance zone that do not belong to the national park. The management is carried out according to the nature reserve regulations as well as the nature conservation concept of the BaySF.

Administrative Office of the Biosphere Region Berchtesgadener Land

To spread the biosphere idea and to meet the diverse requirements of a biosphere reserve, the Free State of Bavaria assists the Berchtesgadener Land with the Administrative Office of the Biosphere Region (branch office of the government of Upper Bavaria). It does not perform sovereign tasks but acts as a developer of ideas and initiator of projects. The office serves as a networker and advisor to promote the development of the Berchtesgadener Land as a sustainable model region. In addition to its own projects and programs, it provides important impulses on topics of sustainability, inspires, mediates, accompanies, consults and connects actors in the Berchtesgadener Land.

The sponsoring association Biosphärenregion Berchtesgadener Land e. V.

The sponsoring association is made up of representatives of the district, the 15 municipalities, public interest groups, associations and other social groups from agriculture, forestry or business. It is dedicated to the protection, preservation and development of the natural foundations of life, sustainable and environmentally friendly development and the preservation of regional identity. In order to fulfill this objective, the association initiates, promotes, supports, coordinates and undertakes various activities to protect and strengthen the local economy and eco-friendly tourism. It also supports the production and marketing of typical regional products, the preservation and promotion of rural structures, the promotion of modern agriculture and forestry, the preservation of the landscape, environmental education and local history. In addition, the association carries out its own public relations work.

The administration of the Berchtesgaden National Park

The main goals of the Berchtesgaden National Park are to protect and enable natural processes to run their course. This is realized on 75% of the area (approx. 16,000 ha) in the core zone of the National Park, which is identical to the core zone of the Biosphere Region. The National Park Administration’s main responsibilities are defined in § 24 BNatschG and in the National Park Ordinance and are, in addition to process protection, habitat management as well as research and monitoring. As far as the purpose of protection allows, the area is to be made accessible to the population for educational and recreational purposes. This special authority – directly subordinate to the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection – is responsible for sovereign tasks such as forest development, game stock regulation as well as building and area management. Thus, the national park administration acts as the responsible authority for the core zone of the biosphere region as well as for the parts of the maintenance zone that lie within the national park.

Educational and research institutions

Various educational and research institutions in the region contribute to collecting and transferring knowledge and skills. School-based as well as extracurricular educational institutions such as the National Park Administration, the Biosphere Region Administration, the Ruhpolding Forest Experience Center, the Bavarian Academy for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management (ANL) as well as the Student Research Center provide target-group-oriented, contemporary and high-quality educational opportunities for everyone. The National Park Administration, the ANL and the Bavarian Office of Forest Genetics conduct independent research and create important professional foundations.

Clubs and associations

Community, quality of life and perspectives for the future are shaped in the Biosphere Region by clubs, associations and voluntary work. As an important cornerstone of society, various clubs and associations in the Berchtesgadener Land actively promote the idea of sustainability in their structures and their goals. They are rooted in regional networks, are creative providers of ideas and make a significant contribution to the ecological, economic and social development of the Berchtesgadener Land. For example, the Solidargemeinschaft BGL e. V. advocates responsible and sustainable development of the region, it tries to raise people’s awareness and provides a platform for regional products, services or crafts. Recognized environmental protection associations are committed to the protection of species and the preservation of valuable landscape areas. Furthermore, the Biosphere Region Berchtesgadener Land e. V. is active in the region. It is a voluntary association of farmers, nature conservationists and municipalities, dedicated to the preservation and development of the cultural landscape in the Berchtesgadener Land.

The companies

Private, public and even non-profit companies and cooperatives can make key contributions to sustainable development in all dimensions of their operations. This includes their range of products and services as well as their methods of production and supply chains, the design of their company buildings and open spaces, as well as their interaction with employees and customers. Many companies in the Biosphere Region, from small family businesses to large corporations, follow the idea of sustainable business. They act respectfully with regard to people and nature, use energy and resources wisely, pay attention to ecological and social criteria when purchasing their goods, and are part of regional economic cycles.

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