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Ecologically Unique - UNESCO Biosphere Reservation Lake Schaalsee/Germany 🎥

There is simply no better word for this special place than “unique”; the UNESCO Biosphere Reservation Lake Schaalsee is the doorstep to the western part of the German State Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. This particular countryside used to be part of the former border between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic from 1952 until 1990; pleasingly - it has transformed from a veritable “no-man’s-land” to a place where nature truly reigns once again.

A paradise for nature-lovers who cherish this idyllic landscape Nature pure - Wikimedia Commons

Fauna and Flora were able to develop with far less interruption than elsewhere due to the repose caused by the former border fortifications. Wide patches of reeds, bogs, forests, wet areas and alder marshes spread to form biotopes for rare plants and animals. The otter is just as much at home in this region as is the endangered sea eagle, cranes, kingfishers and also provides a haven for migratory birds.

The areas are of great scenic beauty and also have a mission: Germany’s 16 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves show how man and nature can coexist in harmony.

Pair of Otters flickr photo shared by Dave_S.; shared under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Sea Eagle flight - Wikimedia Commons

The Reservation area of Lake Schaalsee stretches from the town of Zarrentin to Ratzeburg and displays the typical harmony of a high and barren landscape feature such as mountain ranges and moor-covered hills formed by glaciers and melt waters during the last ‘Ice Age’. The lake itself is the deepest in North Germany (72 metre) and is home to some of the last wild great marane fish.

Map data @ 2019 - Google

Due to the uniqueness and beauty of the landscape, the efforts to conserve biodiversity and the successes in regional development, the area around the Schaalsee lake received international recognition as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in January 2000.

In a joint effort to achieve sustainable development the people of the region have succeeded in turning the landscape around Lake Schaalsee into a popular holiday region with the overriding goal to respect nature, so that this biosphere reserve remains a safe harbor for nature and a paradise for nature-lovers.

Besides promoting nature-friendly tourism under the umbrella of a regional brand, another cornerstone was set in the successful development of the “Job Engine Biosphere”; with over 100 owners using the patent-protected regional brand “Für Leib und Seele” (For body and soul) including farm shops, craftsmen, holiday accommodation and tourism providers. There is also a regular “Biosphere Schaalsee Market” that takes place in the town of Zarrentin every first sunday of the month from April to November.

Not long ago several peat bogs have been restored, fields converted, fruit trees planted, fish ladders built and small waters and streams rehabilitated, like shields and moor channels. Just as important is the people’s focus on education for sustainable development with numerous educational offers and presentations for interested visitors, for kindergartens, primary schools and vocational schools.

What a great example of sustainability that is! Joint effort of individuals, groups and the regional state agencies of Germany has proven that a successful sustainable development is possible for man and nature to live in harmony. It meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For the protection of the world’s resources sustainable development is vital.


What are UNESCO biosphere reserves? How do they work? How does the balance between the interests of environmental protection and social and economic development work? This video prepared by German biosphere reserves, explains you these and other related issues about biosphere reserves.

🎥 (2:40) Biosphere reserves in a nutshell - UNESCO 2014

We also recommend the NDR documentary (in German language and/or just enjoy the beautiful landscape), published 2018:

🎥 (58:40) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern von oben | die nordstory | NDR

In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern scheint der Himmel weiter zu sein als anderswo. Das sieht man am besten von der Erde aus. Ein Filmteam des NDR ist zu einem Rundflug in die Luft gegangen und zeigt in diesem Film, wie schön das nordöstlichste Bundesland tatsächlich ist. Entstanden sind atemberaubende Bilder von Orten, die man zu kennen glaubt. Das Delta der Peene, die tausend Seen der Müritz, die "mathematischen Strukturen" der altehrwürdigen Hansestädte.


BN - Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, 2018 (viewed 21.02.2019)

Deutsche UNESCO Kommission (viewed 21.02.2019)

Germany Biosphere Reserves (viewed 21.02.2019)

Mecklenburg-Schwerin (viewed 21.02.2019)


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