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The Idea

National Natural Landscapes – Nationale Naturlandschaften – is the brand under which all German national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks are united. There are more than a hundred National Natural Landscapes in Germany – from Wadden Sea through the central German river landscapes to the Alps. All share the common objective of protecting and conserving nature and offering visitors opportunities to experience it.

This goal can best be achieved with a common brand, because then all the protected areas present themselves with a uniform design, offering a high recognition factor. Various working groups can develop recommendations for actions for all members and initiate new projects.

EUROPARC Germany has been involved since 1993 with establishing a joint image for large-scale conservation areas in Germany. There was broad agreement about the need for such a joint presentation, but as a result of the federal structure of Germany, with the various Laender being responsible for the protected areas, the implementation was by no means as easy at it seemed at first sight. Between 1993 and 1997 a joint image was developed which was adopted by many national parks. For a variety of reasons, the necessary on-going development was not achieved.

In 2002, EUROPARC Germany grasped the initiative with a new, broader based approach. After preparatory consultations, a joint presentation for all large-scale conservation areas in Germany was discussed at a number of workshops held in 2002 and 2003 with representatives from EUROPARC Germany and the German Environment Foundation (DBU), and also with contributions from external experts, e.g. from the U.S. National Park Service. As a result of the discussions, EUROPARC Germany developed a proposal in 2004 which met with widespread approval. A development process was started in which relevant opinion leaders and decision makers were integrated, and the initiative led to a project under the guidance of EUROPARC Germany.

The brand “National Natural Landscapes” is held by EUROPARC Germany, the umbrella organisation of the national parks, nature parks, and biosphere reserves. The development of the shared brand was supported by the German Environment Foundation (DBU) as well as the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Federal Laender Bavaria, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia.

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