The Biosphere Reserve plan
The Biosphere Reserve plan has been available to the public since 2009. It is contained in two volumes – a volume with texts and a volume with maps – as well as a separate set of maps.
The plan contains an assessment of the present and predicted state of the landscape and nature together with a description of the measures needed to provide for their protection, care and development. Furthermore, there are recommendations for the promotion of sustainable land usage as well as salient aspects in respect of regional research and information. Here, the plan goes beyond the requirements of a normal land usage plan.
The regional authorities and institutions which were involved in the drafting of the plan have each received a copy. It is also available for public scrutiny in the offices of the district administration of Lüneburg and Lüchow-Dannenberg, the affected local communities and in the head office of the biosphere reserve administration in Hitzacker.
In addition, the plan can be downloaded via the link in the right hand column (only in German).
The plan provides a very clear picture of the significance of the Elbe valley from the point of view of species and biotope protection. The near-natural constellation of riverine habitats contains a wide range of rare and endangered animal and plant species and biotopes, with population densities which are higher than those prevailing in other parts of Lower Saxony. As a resting area for geese and swans the Elbe valley is of international importance, and it also fulfils an important function as a stepping stone for many visiting birds on their way between their breeding areas and their winter quarters.
However, many of these species and habitats, despite their legally protected status at European, national or state level, remain at risk or potentially at risk on account of current or planned land usage.
The Biosphere Reserve plan also takes account of the reserve’s status as a ‘model region for sustainable management’. It gives an overview of the current demographic, economic and cultural situations which together provide the framework for achieving sustainable development reflecting ecological, economical and social aspects. The whole area is characterized by relatively low densities both in terms of population and traffic routes. Agriculture and forestry remain important economic factors within the boundaries of the reserve and in the neighbouring regions. Tourism is already of considerable economic importance, and it has considerable potential for growth with an emphasis on nature tourism and cultural activities.
The Biosphere Reserve plan provides a solid basis for carrying out the practical administrative tasks which lie ahead. The aim is to transform the goals, requirements and recommendations of the plan into concrete measures in cooperation with the various bodies and people involved in the region – measures which ensure the best possible conditions for coexistence between man and his natural surroundings.
Biosphere Reserve plan