UNESCO biosphere reserves are full of life. Here, people put sustainable development into practice: economic, ecological, social and cultural objectives are pursued, conserving precious natural spaces in the process. People are opening up new opportunities for today and are taking responsibility for future generations. What could be more exciting than a look at new ways into the future? The 14 biosphere reserves in Germany are part of a world network of 440 areas in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB). Founded in the 1970s to research the relationship between man and the environment, biosphere reserves have been developed into model regions for sustainable development since the 1992 Rio Conference. This publication gives an overview of developments to date and the new direction for the MAB Programme in Germany. The generally valid guidelines for the conservation, care and development of these areas are explained. Various project examples from practice and research bear witness to the living implementation of the Programme in the German UNESCO biosphere reserves.