What is the legal Framework that defines our Work?


flower"A protected area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values." (International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN Definition 2008)

For the protection of nature, species and landscape there are various types of protected areas:

  • Large protected areas: national parks, biosphere reserves, nature parks ("Naturparke")

  • Medium sized reserves: nature reserves, landscape protection areas, natural monuments, protected landscape elements, legal. protected biotopes

  • European Network Natura 2000: Special Protected Areas, Special Areas of Conservation (german: FFH-Gebiete)

A key focus is on the European network of contiguous protected areas (Natura 2000), which identifies specific species and habitat types that need particular protection. The aim of Natura 2000 is to ensure or, if necessary, restore the favourable conservation status of the biotope types and species habitats in their natural range. The suitability of areas is determined by two legal directives: the Birds Directive, resulting in the Bird Protection Areas (Special Protected Areas, SPA) and the Habitats Directive, resulting in the Special Areas of Conservation (SAC, german: FFH-Gebiete). Such areas must be registered with the European Union. They are subject to conservation and prohibition of deterioration, this is revised every 6 years. Therefore, management and action plans are developed to meet these requirements.

text by Julian Wendler & Dr. Matthias Wichmann