Green Belt Europe: A vision is taking shape

Backwater of the Danube at Devin, Austria/Slovakia

The Green Belt Germany as well as activities for a Fennoscandian and a Balkan Green Belt were the starting points for the fascinating vision of a Green Belt through Europe. The "Iron Curtain" ran from the Barents to the Black Sea, and was a zone forbidden to people. And so a belt of valuable habitats winds its way through Europe - through 24 countries, from the Arctic north to the Mediterranean south, over a length of more than 12,500 km. Unique landscapes with a great diversity of animals and plants have been preserved. Such as the impressive primeval forests in Karelia on the Finnish-Russian border. The floodplain of the rivers Danube and Morava on the Austrian-Slovakian border, one of the largest original wetland landscapes in Central Europe. The cross-border Fertö-Hanság/Lake Neusiedl National Park between Austria and Hungary. Or the Rhodope mountains, a fascinating mountain region on the border between Bulgaria and Greece.

1. Conference about the Central European Green Belt in Mitwitz in 2005. Photo: Th. Rebhan

The Green Belt Europe could become the first and largest network of habitats in Europe - a refuge for many endangered plants and animals. But the focus is not only on the preservation of existing nature reserves and valuable habitats, the former border corridor today is intended to help people to connect with their natural surroundings and to promote the opportunity for a sustainable regional development.

To achieve these central tasks, there needs to be continuous cross-border cooperation at many levels in the coming decades. How? You can find out here.