Functionality and efficacy of buffer zones in German biosphere reserves

Zoning the area of a reserve into core, buffer, and development compartments is a basic concept of the UNESCO programme on Man and Biosphere (MAB). Specific management objectives are implicit to the zonation types each. Buffer zones are meant to mitigate deliberating impacts on the preserves’ core zones. In addition, buffer zones are essential in order to maintain or even increase biodiversity as well as the appliance of land use techniques characteristic for the specific region. Against the background of the complexity inherent with those demands, it becomes clear that the efficacy of buffer zones considerably depends on the management applied.

In a joint project, Landespflege Freiburg and different partners aim on analysing the efficacy of buffer zone management in the German biosphere reserves. Identification of potentials to further improve the functionality of buffer zones is a main objective of the study.

The project is conducted on behalf of the German Agency for Nature Conservation. The study is planned to be finalised by the end of 2021.