At its 35th session in Paris on 25 June 2011, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the ‘Ancient Beech Forests of Germany’ as an extension to the World Heritage property ‘Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians’ on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The World Heritage Site was now called ‘Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany’.
Natural lowland beech forests now only exist in Germany, and the German low mountain ranges have the world’s highest concentration of beech forests on nutrient-poor sites. Together with the ‘Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians’, they reflect the broad spectrum of the European beech forest types.
In 2004, an initial research study commissioned by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) was conducted to identify natural properties with the potential for a nomination as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany.
The study concluded that so-called “serial nominations” would offer far greater prospects of success. These are nominations of several component parts, which may also be located in different countries. This option is of particular significance for natural assets in Europe. Many natural habitats are highly fragmented here due to intensive settlement. Hence, their global significance can only be fully appreciated from a pan-European perspective.
The study identified German beech forest stands as natural assets of "outstanding universal value", which are of particular significance due to the diversity of their distribution types and characteristics. The German beech forest cluster was successfully added to the World Heritage List in 2011, as an enriching addition to the World Natural Heritage Site ‘Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians’.
Nomination dossier of the German beech forests (GER)
Decision of the World Heritage Committee on the extension in 2011 (EN)
German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN) – The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany are UNESCO Natural World Heritage (GER)