This action will explore a model where commercial companies owning a piece of land initiate a designation process to protect the land under the most appropriate national protection category (e.g. nature reserve) and then manage the land for conservation purposes.
The CEO of the Berlin-based internet company idealo.de recently purchased a 35 ha property outside Berlin. The reasons for the land purchase were twofold: to invest some savings in a property and to acquire land for conservation purposes. Despite his willingness to designate the site as nature reserve and to manage it accordingly, the owner expects the land to keep some economic value.
In cooperation with the company and the responsible public authorities, NABU will test how a participatory site designation process can be carried out upon the request of a private landowner. We will facilitate meetings of the parties involved, commission an ex-ante inventory of the site and an assessment of its conservation value, and support the authority in the designation process (issuing public notices, drafting the designation ordinance and management plan). The new “company reserve” will help implement the management objectives for the Special Protection Area “Obere Havelniederung”, in which the reserve is situated.
The approach of company reserves differs from established conservation practices of land in company ownership:
The project will also investigate whether the naming rights for the new reserve can be bestowed in recognition for the company's effort (as it is already common practice with sport facilities or cultural events).
Public reserve designation process by the competent authority following the request of the private landowner.
Commercial company “idealo.de”, NABU, county of Oberhavel, Ministry for the Environmental of Brandenburg
No, to our knowledge, this is the first time that a private company requests the initiation of a nature reserve designation process in Germany.
The pilot action concerns 39 ha.