Eine ethnographische Reise durch die Bodenseeregion

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Naturraum Bodensee


Symbolism and Reality of Environmental Protection on the Bodensee

Due to wide environmental protection and nature conservation, the region is known today for its unspoiled nature and clean water, which also have enhanced its image.

The ecosystem of the Bodensee had been threatened for a long time by the raw sewage spewing into and contaminating the lake. From the 1960s to the end of the 1980s, the lake pollution from inorganic nutrients was dramatic. The diagram of phosphorus levels from the International Commission for Water Protection of Lake Constance (Internationale Gewässerschutzkommission für den Bodensee – IGKB) over the years shows the importance of human intervention and signals a change in political thinking regarding the environment. The extensive building of sewage treatment plants, being heavily promoted by the Internationalen Bodenseekonferenz (IBK) since the 1970s, was able to prevent the Bodensee from becoming a dead-zone. The now clean water is the foundation for the lake’s image which benefits tourism and helps with the marketing of regional products.

In Austria, Germany and Switzerland, nature reserves along with environmental protection and conservation collectively have different degrees of importance. Although international agreements such as the Natura 2000 policy of the EU call for cooperation, nature reserves on the Bodensee are administered separately along national lines and are not brought together in any transnational associations. So, the largest national nature reserves on the Bodensee: the Rhine delta (Rheindelta), the Wollmating marsh (Wollmatinger Ried), and the Eriskirch marsh (Eriskircher Ried) are an exception to the tendency to form transnational institutions. However, marshes and their animal and plant life, like the Siberian Iris, are a symbol for the responsible handling of nature and the cultural landscape representing the region.


Patrick Ritter

„Es gibt kein Bodenseebewusstsein. Es gab so eine Phase, in der der Gewässerschutz zusammengeschmiedet hat und da war klar, da geht es um Sein oder Nichtsein, da geht es um unser Lebensmittel Nummer eins, unser Wasser. Und was da im Zusammenhang mit der Sanierung des Bodensees geleistet worden ist, das ist über jeden Zweifel erhaben.“
Harald Jacoby, ehem. Geschäftsführer der Bodensee-Stiftung



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Die nächste Veranstaltung findet statt, am Sonntag, den 22. März 2009, um 11 Uhr vormittags, im LOCORAMA Romanshorn (Egnacherweg 1)

Mit den Podiumsgästen:

  • Lucia Studer (Institut für sozialwissenschaftliche Regionalforschung, Bregenz)
  • Claudius Graf-Schelling (Regierungsrat, Kanton Thurgau)
  • Thomas Willauer (Bodensee-Magazin, Konstanz)