Interview: Integrating People into the Biosphere | Living Planet | DW | 13.01.2004
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Living Planet

Interview: Integrating People into the Biosphere

A plan to set up a biosphere reserve is often met with skepticism by local communities. DW-RADIO spoke with the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation about this problem.


UNESCO’s “Man and the Biosphere” program has existed since 1970.

There are many advantages to a biosphere reserve. Yet it is particularly important to consider local people and their economies, especially in developing countries, when setting up such an area.

There are many potential benefits for such groups, such as the protection of basic land and water resources, additional employment, an opportunity to maintain existing traditions and lifestyles, as well as a more healthy environment.

But when a biosphere reserve is first established, the local populations are not always enthusiastic, as they need to alter their way of life and are no longer able to use certain areas as they please.

DW-RADIO’s John Hay talked with Jürgen Nauber, Head of the Division of International Affairs and Co-operation with Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, which hosts Germany's committee for the Man and the Biosphere Program, and asked him how local communities tend to react.

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