What is a nature reserve

Protected areas: recreation for nature and people

In addition to the smaller nature reserves in terms of area, which often belong to the Natura 2000 network, there are so-called large protected areas. These include national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks, which have been part of the "National Natural Landscapes" umbrella brand since 2005. They consist largely of nature and landscape protection areas and secure the basis of life for people, animals and plants.

Nature conservation in graduated forms

In most areas of the national parks, humans are not allowed to intervene. (DOC RABE Media / fotolia.com)

The Federal Nature Conservation Act and the State Nature Conservation Act form the legal framework. For national parks and biosphere reserves, international guidelines also apply with regard to protection and permitted interventions. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has designed a uniform system of regulations that are regulated by appropriate contracts and conventions.

The different protected areas have different protection goals. Their use is therefore subject to various restrictions. What they all have in common, however, is the goal of sustainable development, which can be guaranteed by setting quality standards and proper area management.

Which protected areas for nature are there - and how do they differ?

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The most important large protected areas are the National parks. Here nature can be nature and develop its own dynamics and laws. Humans are not allowed to intervene in the majority of the area. Large areas of retreat are available for many wild plant and animal species, which serve to protect the natural diversity of species and turn nature into an experience space for people.

More information on national parks

Biosphere reserves on the other hand, they are model regions for the coexistence of humans and nature. They protect natural and cultural landscapes shaped by humans and the diversity of species and biotopes that have grown with them. They help to develop a balanced relationship between natural and social processes and sustainable management.

More information on biosphere reserves

The third major protected area category are Nature parks. They preserve and develop cultural landscapes and serve the recreation of people and nature. Its aim is to reconcile economic use and tourism with functioning nature conservation.

Nature reserves belong to the most strictly protected areas next to the national parks. Their destruction or modification is prohibited, which guarantees a special protection of habitats and the wild flora and fauna in them. The use of nature reserves is only permitted if it does not conflict with the protection goal.

Landscape protection areas serve the preservation and development of nature. They should eliminate impairments of the natural balance and restore their performance and functionality. However, the protection regulations are less strict than in nature reserves.

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