Title: The Pfalzerwald–Vosges du Nord transboundary biosphere reserve

Authors: Roland Stein

Addresses: Transboundary Cooperation and International Exchange, Pfalzerwald–Vosges du Nord Biosphere Reserve, Franz-Hartmann-Street 9, Lambrecht D-67466, Germany

Abstract: Transboundary Biosphere Reserves (TBRs) have the great potential to facilitate a more integrated and coherent approach to the management and sustainable development of a landscape across borders, in ecological, socio-economic, cultural and political terms. The transboundary perspective offers dialogue and action that can transcend politics and help resolve long-standing and highly complex problems affecting both sides of the border. The case of Pfalzerwald–Vosges du Nord TBR shows how successful transboundary initiatives and actions can be but also how this good practice is fragile in terms of sustainability. The political framework of TBR projects will have to be altered to the extent where the time aspect, the regional and the qualitative perspective and the human factor will be given more flexibility. Concurrently, UNESCO|s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and the respective MAB national committees must increase the support of the establishment, management and review of TBRs as well as the networking between them.

Keywords: confidence building; forest management; fragmentation; intercultural communication; mindset; open process; project sustainability; qualitative evaluation; self-reliance; shared ecosystems; transboundary biosphere reserves; sustainable development; Germany; human factors; UNESCO MAB; networking.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2008.018361

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2008 Vol.7 No.2, pp.156 - 169

Published online: 18 May 2008 *

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