Aims and tasks of the nature parks

Nature parks are a central pillar of the nation-wide nature reserve programme for natural landscapes. They combine the preservation of biological diversity with the strengthening and development of state regions, and include climate protection. They offer attractive recreational opportunities, promote the health of the population, and support sustainable tourism and education for sustainable development.    (VDN, nature parks 2030 – Wartburg programme for nature parks in Germany)

Every nature park has these functions in its own region, collectively nation-wide, as well as in the international context. In this way, nature parks contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the National Strategy of the Federal Government for Biodiversity.
The strength of the nature parks lies in the fact that they combine nature conservation with a 'gentle' tourism, according to the founding maxim of the German Nature Parks Association: "Nature and landscape can only be protected and preserved together with the people". At the same time, nature parks provide people with an identity and opportunities for personal engagement in a globalised world.
(VDN, 2013)

Today, 105 nature parks occupy around 28 percent of the area of Germany. Around 18 million people live in these areas. The nature parks have united under the Verband Deutscher Naturparke e.V. (VDN) (German Nature Parks Association). The 'Nature Park Quality Offensive' supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the brochure 'Nature Parks in Germany 2030 - Tasks and Objectives' together form the framework for the permanent qualitative development of nature parks. (VDN, nature parks 2030 – Wartburg programme for nature parks in Germany)

Mission Statement of the Thuringian Slate Mountains/Upper Saale Nature Park

The most important goal of the Thuringian Slate Mountains/Upper Saale Nature Park is to bring the preservation of the distinctive landscape into harmony with sustainable tourism and community development.
The Thuringian Slate Mountains/Upper Saale Nature Park is supported by a network of various partners, from local politics, business, special interest groups, associations and committed citizens. These partners work together to implement projects and actions that serve nature park development goals. The Nature Park Management supports these as moderator and coordinator. It supervises projects and advises the regional partners. Since 2009, the Nature Park Management has been participating in certification by EUROPARC and since then the Nature Park has been awarded the title of Quality Nature Park.  

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