The aim of the Biosphere Reserves Institute (BRI) is to promote sustainable development of rural areas through research and teaching. The model regions for development and testing projects are primarily the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves worldwide. The underlying intention of the institute is to ensure that future-oriented change is initiated and implemented on the basis of transformative research and sustainable principles with the cooperation of affected interest groups. As it stands, the contextual focus of the Biosphere Reserves Institute lies in land use and its attainment of added value.
As a networking and communication center, the BRI is responsible for the formation of research networks, the promotion of research and teaching at HNEE as well as the support of transferring research results to relevant recipients.