The Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft biosphere reserve belongs to the worldwide family of UNESCO biosphere reserves. It was recognised in 1996. UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. This designation attests that the “UNESCO biosphere reserve recognition and review criteria for Germany” have been met. The OHTLBR meets these requirements, which took effect under Saxon law by virtue of the ordinance issued by the Ministry for the Environment and Regional Development of the state of Saxony on 18 December 1997.