The European Green Belt, our shared natural heritage along the line of the former Iron Curtain, is to be conserved and restored as an ecological network connecting high-value natural and cultural landscapes while respecting the economic, social and cultural needs of local communities.



10th Pan-European Green Belt Conference from 16-18 October 2018 in Eisenach, Germany

Conserving European Green Belts nature and cultural heritage is all about people! Thus, BUND and EuroNatur are very happy to announce, that the Thuringian Ministry for Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation (Germany) and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Germany) provide funds for bringing people together at the 10th Pan-European Green Belt Conference, which will take place from 16 to 18 October 2018 in the premises of the Wartburg in the city of Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany. More than 100 participants from governmental institutions, science and non-governmental organisations, representing all four regions of the European Green Belt, will be invited.  

Important background of the conference is that the Thuringian Ministry for Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation introduced a bill to conserve the entire Green Belt in Thuringia (763 kilometers) as National Nature Monument, which most probably will be passed still in 2018. During the conference the participants will have the opportunity to find out more about this unprecedented process and other approaches to protect large areas of the European Green Belt elsewhere.     

At the conference in October in Eisenach participants will have the opportunity to share best practices, lessons learned and of course latest news and developments from the European Green Belt. But the conference will not only be for consumption, but also for actively sharing opinions, knowledge and experience. Several interactive sessions will open the opportunity for the participants to get involved in the future development of the European Green Belt Initiative.

BUND Department Green Belt together with EuroNatur and BUND Thuringia will organize the conference.



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From Iron Curtain to Lifeline

An extraordinary ecological network and living memorial landscape has been developed along the former Iron Curtain, which divided the European continent into East and West for nearly 40 years. Along more than 12,500 kilometres – from the Barents Sea at the Russian-Norwegian border, along the Baltic Coast, through Central Europe and the Balkans to the Black Sea – the border zone granted nature a pause. Unwittingly, the once-divided Europe encouraged the conservation and development of valuable habitats. The border area served as a retreat for many endangered species.

Today the Green Belt forms the backbone of the Pan-European ecological network and provides a significant contribution to the European ‘Green Infrastructure’.

The European Green Belt connects 16 EU countries, four candidate countries (Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Turkey), two potential candidates (Kosovo, Albania) and two non-EU countries (Russia and Norway). Almost 150 governmental and non-governmental organisations from these countries have come together in the Green Belt Initiative. The European Green Belt Initiative was born in 2003, when various existing regional initiatives merged into one European initiative. Besides its extraordinary ecological importance, the initiative is a living example of how Europe and its diverse cultures can truly grow together. From the European Green Belt, we can learn that biological diversity goes hand in hand with cultural diversity. It is a symbol for transboundary cooperation and a Europe’s shared natural and cultural heritage.

The Green Belt connects National Parks, Nature Parks, Biosphere Reserves and transboundary protected areas as well as non-protected areas along or across borders, and promotes regional development initiatives in the field of nature conservation.

More information: Fact Sheet 2002-2016