The quality offensive from the association of german nature parks

What is a quality nature park?

The Bergisches Land nature park was last recognised as a quality nature park in 2015 and is applying for this quality seal again in 2021.

The quality initiative for nature parks was developed by the association of german nature parks (Verband Deutscher Naturparke e.V.). (VDN) in close consultation with the nature parks. Its development was supported by the federal agency for nature conservation (BfN) with funds from the federal ministry for the environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety (BMU). Its central aim is to provide nature parks with an instrument for self-assessment and continuous improvement of the quality of their work and their offerings. Participation in the quality offensive is voluntary. At the same time, the quality offensive is an instrument to make it clear in politics, business and society that nature parks have considerable potential for the integrated development of nature conservation, sustainable tourism, environmental education and sustainable regional development.

The criteria selected for the quality offensive record the status quo of the german nature parks; by evaluating these criteria, the quality of the work of the nature parks is made measurable.

PROCESS

The core of the quality offensive for nature parks is a catalogue of criteria that divides the work of the nature parks into 5 fields of action:

  • Management and organisation
  • Nature conservation and landscape management
  • Recreation and Sustainable Tourism
  • Environmental education and communication
  • Sustainable regional development

The criteria catalogue contains a nature park profile, which records basic information about the nature park and is not evaluated, as well as a total of 92 evaluation questions on the above-mentioned five fields of action. A maximum of 100 points can be achieved in each field of action, the possible total number of points is 500.
The nature parks participating in the quality offensive are also evaluated on site by specially trained quality scouts.

AWARDS

Nature parks that achieve at least 300 points out of a total of 500 possible points and at least 30 points in each field of action are awarded the title "Quality Nature Park". Those parks that do not yet reach these scores, but do reach at least 100 points, will be awarded as "Partner Quality Offensive Nature Parks".

The awarded nature parks receive a certificate. The "Quality Nature Parks" also have the opportunity to advertise with a corresponding sign on all their own materials and on their website. Both awards are limited to five years. After that, the nature parks have to reapply each time.

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