Project details

Quality management and improvement of the German UNESCO biosphere reserves – Operationalization of National Recognition and Assessment Criteria for Sustainable Management

To be acknowledged as UNESCO biosphere reserve (BR), the BR have to fulfill a total of 40 criteria. These are so-called recognition criteria (A) and assessment criteria (B). On the one hand, specific structural and functional aspects of a BR are examined. On the other hand, they serve as the basis for the regular review of the work of the BR every 10 years.

The aim of the project is to identify further indicators that are suitable to concretize the assessment criteria No. 21-25 for biosphere reserves and thus better reflect the approach of sustainable economic development in the BR.

In the beginning, approaches to sustainable economic development as described in the criteria No. 21.25 will be investigated.. These are assessed in terms of their methodology, indicators, data base, meaningfulness, suitability or the assessment of sustainable economic development, the survey and evaluation effort as well as the applicability in German UNESCO biosphere reserves.

The results of this analysis form the basis of a forum with representatives of the MAB National Committee, the German UNESCO biosphere reserves and scientists. Here, the existing and assessed systems will be presented and the applicability in German biosphere reserves will be discussed. Based on this, recommendations on how to proceed further with regard to the operationalization of the national recognition and assessment criteria for sustainable management are developed.

The final report includes a long version of the results of the analyzed evaluation methods, the documentation of the event and recommendations for further advancement.

The IfLS builds on its research and advisory competences from projects as "Strategies for a sustainable economy in biosphere reserves", "Integrative monitoring systems in major nature reserves", "Evaluation of the management of Austrian National Parks" and other projects related to biosphere reserves.

Project no.: 



Research | Large protected areas and cultural landscape |


Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)

Executing Organization: 

Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung e.V.


2017 - 2018

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christoph Mathias