The joint working group Drömling of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, which rep-resents local authorities, associations and regional stakeholder groups, met today in the Autostadt. In this context, Volkswagen signed a letter of intent with representatives of the federal states to further develop the Drömling into a UNESCO bio-sphere reserve.

The signatures were delivered by Klaus Rheda, State Secretary in the Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture and Energy of Saxony-Anhalt, Frank Doods, State Secretary in the Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection of Lower Saxony, Gerd Walker, Head of Volkswagen Group Production, and Christiane Eckert, Head of Strategy and Environment in Volkswagen Group Production. The signatories aim to draft, specify and implement the possibilities for cooperation in a working group.

In his statement, Walker referred to the Volkswagen Group’s new “goTOzero” environmental mission statement and said: “We want to play our part in keeping the Drömling intact as a natural habitat and thus creating a positive benefit for society. We are now starting right outside the gates of our headquarters and our largest location in Wolfsburg with more than 60,000 employees.

He also stressed that the Volkswagen Group wanted to play an active role in the development of the Drömling as a model region for sustainable development. Walker described various ways in which Volkswagen could become involved. For example, further training measures on the natural environment are conceivable, as is the involvement and marketing of a regional brand for food or voluntary support measures for Volkswagen employees. In cooperation with the Autostadt, offers in the fields of education and tourism as well as cooperation in the field of nature conservation are also to be developed.

The state secretaries of the ministries in Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony pointed out the importance of the Drömling as a unique natural area and the initial impact of UNESCO’s ‘Men and Biosphere’ approach on sustainable regional development. Both regard the fact that Volkswagen, as a global player, is taking the initiative to get involved in the process as an opportunity for the region.

The Drömling is a fen landscape that begins about ten kilometres east of Wolfsburg and extends from 60 square kilometres in Lower Saxony to 280 square kilometres in Saxony-Anhalt. Here, there are extensive nature and landscape conservation areas in which a species-rich flora and fauna is at home. These include numerous endangered plant and animal species whose special protection is necessary to safeguard biodiversity.