Evaluation of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

In order to check how the Biosphere Reserves develop and whether they fulfil the criteria for UNESCO recognition in the long term, they are evaluated every ten years by the MAB National Committee.

The evaluation of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Elbe River Landscape, which spans across 5 states, has been carried out in 2007 and 2017 since its recognition by UNESCO. 

Ein Gruppenfoto des MAB Nationalkomitee in Deutschland im UNESCO-Biosphärenreservat Flusslandschaft Elbe in Mecklenburg Vorpommern. © F. Nessler

In summer of 2016, the MAB National Committee visited the Mecklenburgian area of the Elbe River Landscape. Among other things, there were conversations with stakeholders in the region. Furthermore, they gained an impression of the work in the areas of nature conservation, sustainable development of the region as well as education and research in numerous discussions with employees of the office.

Der Titel des Evaluierungsberichtes zur Flusslandschaft Elbe.
The title of the 2017 evaluation report on the Elbe River Landscape (German version).

The basis of the review is an evaluation report, which must be prepared by the Biosphere Reserve office according to a UNESCO questionnaire. In addition, the MAB National Committee visits the area for several days.

In the evaluation, the National Committee makes recommendations for the further development of the biosphere reserve and identifies deficits that need to be remedied. If deficits are not eliminated and the criteria according to the guidelines for a UNESCO biosphere reserve are not met, the UNESCO title may be withdrawn. Click here for the current and complete evaluation report of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Elbe River Landscape from 2017  (German version). The decision for the further recognition of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Elbe River Landscape by the International Coordinating Council (ICC, based in Paris) is expected in September 2021. The MAB National Committee complained about deficits, especially in the designation of the core and maintenance zones, which were still being reworked throughout the area.