The study area is situated in the north of Cottbus in South Brandenburg (Germany) and a typical part of the north German glacial lowland. It contains first an almost dry woodland-dominated former military training area called “Lieberoser Heide”. Second, the study areas’ southwest part contains partly the well-known and touristic strongly used floodplain area “Spreewald”, which is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Some of the inhabitants are descendants of the first settlers in the region, the Slavic tribes of the Sorbs and Wends. They could preserve their traditional language, homes and clothing. The most inhabitants of the Spreewald depend on tourism. Many tourists explore the Spreewald in punts. Agriculture, forestry and fishery are other important sources of income.
Large military training sites are often home of a rich fauna and flora including wilderness areas. As a result, the Lieberoser Heide is a unique landscape that is almost free of construction and traffic areas. On about 25,500 hectares, there is a high biological diversity of flora and fauna. The surrounding regions are challenged to find new economic development paths. Thus, it is necessary to identify and implement strategies for the protection and valorization of the natural treasures as a contribution to sustainable regional development (tourism, land use, handcraft, service). The transnational cooperation process is targeted at an exchange of experiences, a comparison of enabling factors and formulating recommendations for strategy development.
The study area shall be the so-called „Amt Lieberose/Oberspreewald“ as an administrative association of eight municipalities in the German cultural region “Niederlausitz” and belongs to the federal state “Brandenburg”, No DE4 of the German’s 16 NUTS-1 regions. Brandenburg is not distributed in districts (NUTS-2) anymore, therefore DE40 is also Brandenburg. On the NUTS-3 level, the federal state is distributed into 18 counties / cities, whereby the study region belongs to the county DE406 “Dahme-Spreewald”. The „Amt Lieberose/Oberspreewald“ consists on eight municipalities, which are Alt Zauche-Wußwerk, Byhleguhre-Byhlen, Jamlitz, Stadt Lieberose, Neu Zauche, Schwielochsee, Spreewaldheide, Straupitz (Spreewald).
Website of the Amtsgemeinde (only available in German):