Together for Lusatia – UNESCO sites sign cooperation agreement

Bad Muskau, 29. October 2019

The four German UNESCO sites in Lusatia and Domowina – Bund Lausitzer Sorben e.V., the association responsible for the intangible cultural heritage of the Sorbs, signed a cooperation agreement at a ceremony in the New Palace in Bad Muskau. The ceremony was musically accompanied by songs composed for the town of Weißwasser/O.L. and its inhabitants by the artist Bernadette LaHengst and the Chor der Verwandlung (Choir of transformation). The UNESCO biosphere reserves Spreewald and Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft, the transnational UNESCO Global Geopark Muskau Arch / Łuk Mużakowa and the likewise transnational UNESCO World Heritage Muskau Park/Park Mużakowski will thus cooperate more closely in future to highlight the great geological, biological and cultural landscape diversity of Lusatia as an important location factor in the region. The Sorbian area with their social customs and festivals of the Lusatian Sorbs throughout the year presents important cultural highlights as an intangible nationally recognised cultural heritage.

Following the formal agreement, the cooperation is now being implemented: To support economic growth in Lusatia, new impulses and offers in areas such as education, tourism and mobility, will be developed and implemented. The signing was part of an international conference in Bad Muskau on the possibilities and potential of UNESCO site certifications for the shared natural and cultural heritage area. The event was organised within the scope of the INTERREG project “Treasures of the Border Region – Protecting and Promoting Polish-German Natural and Cultural Heritage”. This project is supported within the framework of the INTERREG Poland-Saxony 2014-2020 cooperation programme with funding from the European Regional Development Fund. Following the lectures, conference participants were able to gain insights into the protection of the cultural landscape through sustainable land use during an excursion to the Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft Biosphere Reserve. This excursion was also the first demonstration of the excellent collaboration between the cooperation partners.

UNESCO sites in Lusatia and the area in which the Lusatian Sorbs settled