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Biosphere Reserves: Rhoen Apple Initiative

Lead Organisation:

UNESCO Rhoen Biosphere Reserve (Bavarian Unit)



Time period:

on-going since 1996

Web link:



ROTHER BRAEU (Brewery), Hausen

Hausen (Rhön Biosphere Reserves model municipality)

Rhoen Apple Initiative

Fruit juice producer, ELM, Flieden

Tree nursery SCHLERETH, Hammelburg

ANTONIUSHEIM, home for the handicapped, Fulda

Rhoen biosphere reserve and nature park association (Information center HAUS der LANGEN RHÖN)

Rhoen biosphere reserve and nature park association (Information center HAUS der SCHWARZEN BERGE)

From the Rhoen for the Rhoen association



The Rhoen Apple Initiative aims to conserve fruit orchards as a typical landscape feature of the region. The initiative address the three pillars of sustainable development:

Environment: to conserve biodiversity through organic fruit orchard management. The orchards are an important wild animal and plant habitat in the region.

Society: to generate job opportunities, encourage multilateral cooperation on a regional level, and develop a regional identity

Economy: to generate income and employment.

The initiative is linked to Agenda 21: chapters I.4; II.15; II.14; III.28; II.27; III.30 and to the United Nations Millennium Declaration: I chapter V. Protecting our common environment.


Measurable results and specific targets:

Measurable results of the Rhoen Apple Initiative include increased market prize for local fruit and fruit products;

Created a variety of new and innovative fruit products;

Promoted conservation of existing fruit varieties (170 apple, 38 pear, 12 plum varieties);

Raised interest in local organic fruit production through yearly apple market, apple fair, interpretive trail and guided walks as tourist attraction, apple recipe book;

Created unique in situ conservation orchard;

Grafted traditional fuits tree viarieties in tree nursery;

Success indicators include the number of created or secured jobs and total surface of orchards in Rhön Biosphere Reserves (no evaluation has been carried out yet).

Progress of initiative is reported through brochures, press release on special events, and books.


Implementation mechanisms and further application:

The project was initiated by local people, and is technically and organisationally supported by biosphere reserve administration.

Funding sources include individuals and local industries; EU LEADER programme; community of Hausen; Rhoen biosphere reserve and nature park association; Bavarian Ministry of the Environment.

Arangements for technology transfer and capacity building include seminars (for example, how to produce apple juice, wine, spirit; how to maintain and prune fruit trees), international exchange/mutual learning between similar initiatives.

The initiative is linked to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves World Network.








UNESCO Rhoen Biosphere Reserve (Bavarian Unit)


Oberwaldbehrunger Str. 4




Germany/ Bavaria

Postal Code:





0049-9774-9102-0 or 0049-9774-9102-12



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