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      Biosphere Reserve Information

France / Germany


© Photo: Bâteau de Papier/SYCOPARC
  General Description   Located along the French/German border, the Vosges du Nord/Pfälzerwald share three natural features: water, sandstone and forests. Sandstone outcrops characterize the vast forest belt where people manage beech, oak and pine forest. Springs, streams and lakes are found in the humid valleys. The occurrence of lynx (Lynx lynx), the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the bog arum (Calla palustris) gain much attention from a nature conservation perspective.
The Natural Parc of Vosges du Nord (France) was designated as a biosphere reserve in 1988, and the Pfälzerwald Natural Park (Germany) in 1992. These two parks have for some time prepared the creation of a transboundary biosphere reserve and in 1998 this goal was achieved. About 76,140 people live in the French part of the biosphere reserve (2000), whereas 160,000 inhabitants live in the German part (1991).
The objective of this transboundary biosphere reserve is to develop methods for the sustainable management of natural resources and to establish a new relation between people and the environment. This is being done through research and education, all with the participation of local communities. The two units of this transboundary biosphere reserve are now jointly cooperating for example to establish long-term monitoring sites of water and air, to create a strictly protected forest reserve and to maintain the lynx population. The support of local employment initiatives and testing methods of sustainable economic development, such as sustainable tourism are other goals of cooperation.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   France: Acid bogs; heathlands; sandy grasslands; pine woods on peatlands; wetlands; rocky outcrops and cliffs
Germany: Beechwoods; vineyards; lakes with bogs; wet meadows, sandy grassland; rocky outcrops
  Location   France: 48°46' to 49°11'N; 7°17' to 7°55'E
Germany: 49°02' to 49°37'N; 7°30' to 8°09'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   301,800
  Core area(s)   1,900
  Buffer zone(s)   70,000
  Transition area(s) when given   229,900
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   France: +200 to +580 Germany: +140 to +673
  Year designated   1998
  Administrative authorities   France: Parc Naturel Régional des Vosges du Nord, syndicat mixte (sycoparc) Germany: Verein Naturpark Pfälzerwald e.V.; Ministry of Nature protection and forest management
  Brief description   Monitoring of air quality (France)
Monitoring of flora and fauna
Biological inventories
Aquatic ecosystems
Peat bog/Pine forests (France)
Vegetation studies, including ecological succession and regeneration, role of fire (France)
Forest research and dynamism of wood ecology (Germany)
Research in conservation biology (France)
Rehabilitation of species (Germany)
Environmental monitoring using GIS technology (France)
Ethnology and sociology (France)
Impact of tourism
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Air quality, monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Biology, conservation, ecology, fauna, fires/fire ecology, flora, forest systems, freshwater/inland water, methodologies, phytosociology/succession, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   Forestry, social/socio-economic aspects, tourism, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   Geographic Information System/GIS, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, mapping, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Werner Dexheimer
Franz-Hartmann-Str. 9
D-67466 Lambrecht/Pfalz
  Telephone   (49) 06325/9552-0
  Fax   (49) 06325/9552-19
  Web site
  Contact address   Eric Brua
Réserve de biosphère Vosges du nord
Maison du parc / Château BP24
  Telephone   (33) (0) 3 88 01 49 67
  Web site
  Contact address   Valérie Meyer
Coordinatrice du groupe « pédagogie» des réserves de biosphère
Maison du Parc / Château BP 24
  Telephone   (33) (0) 3 88 01 49 72
  Fax   (33) (0) 3 88 01 49 60
  Contact address   Pierre Zimmermann
Vosges du Nord Biosphere Reserve
Maison du Parc / Château BP 24
  Telephone   (33) (0) 3 88 01 47 34
  Fax   (33) (0) 3 88 01 49 60

Last updated: 28/02/2007

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