L-R: Edith Jeitz, Mayor of the Condorf municipality; Carole Dieschbourg, Minister of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development; Joé Nilles, Mayor of the Berdorf municipality; Credit: MECDD

On Tuesday, Luxembourg's Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development presented a new, uniform labelling system for national nature reserves.

The designation of nature reserves is considered one of the most important instruments of national and international conservation. Nature reserves usually harbour particularly outstanding elements of the biodiversity of a region, be it endangered species or rare habitats. Nature reserves are clearly defined zones by law, in which the use and usability of the designated areas is regulated by case law.

In Luxembourg, a distinction is made between national nature reserves, which are rather small but subject to stricter legal requirements, and European protected areas, also known as Natura 2000. These cover larger areas, but comply with the legal definition of nature conservation objectives.

There are currently 60 designated national nature reserves in Luxembourg, representing a total of 8,116 hectares protected (just under 3% of the land area). The first nature reserve in Luxembourg was declared in 1987; the National Conservation Plan foresees that 75 more areas will be designated.

So far, there has been no uniform labelling of national nature reserves in Luxembourg. With an ever-growing population and increasing numbers of tourists visiting the Grand Duchy, the pressure on natural landscapes and their biodiversity is also increasing. Signage of the nature reserves therefore seems all the more important.

The Ministry of Environment and Nature Management have therefore decided to draw up a uniform description of the areas. The aim of the project is to increase the recognition of these areas and thus make visitors aware of their importance. At important access routes to the areas, the visitors will also be informed by pictograms of the legally binding rules of conduct.