Launched in 1970 as an intergovernmental and interdisciplinary scientific program, biosphere reserves aim to safeguard large-scale characteristic landscapes by preserving and promoting traditional, extensive forms of land use (as a significant contribution to biotope and species conservation) and by developing and testing new, particularly gentle management practices. In addition, education for sustainable development, ecological environmental monitoring and research are of great importance. Biosphere reserves are model areas for sustainable environmental development in the fields of ecology, economy and socio-culture. Nature and landscape conservation is only one of several goals, where the managing human being is in the center. According to the influence of human activity, they are divided into core, maintenance and development zones.
After recognition by UNESCO, a review by the latter takes place every 10 years. However, the individual biosphere reserves remain under the jurisdiction of the state to which they belong. In Germany, the federal states are responsible for the protection and development of the biosphere reserves; in Bavaria, the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection is the highest nature conservation authority.