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.



Dr Rustam Sagitov, pioneer of the European Green Belt

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dr Rustam Sagitov on 19 August 2018. Rustam was one of the pioneers of the European Green Belt and a dedicated nature conservationist who supported especially transboundary cooperation at the Fennoscandian Green Belt but also the further development of the entire European Green Belt Initiative. His achievements for nature, however, go far beyond the European Green Belt as Rustam helped develop numerous projects and programmes not only in Russia, but also in the Baltic region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Rustam was above all a thoughtful and kind person, and will be remembered as a genuine nature conservationist. Throughout his life, Rustam kept the admiration of nature; and with his passing we have lost a mindful colleague.

Aleksei Zavarzin, IUCN CEC Regional Vice Chair Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Boris Erg, Director, IUCN Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office pay tribute to Rustam, reflecting on his remarkable life and achievements, and the legacy he leaves behind in conservation, in Russia and the world at large.




10th Pan-European Green Belt Conference

The 10th Pan-European Green Belt Conference will take place on 15-18 October 2018 in Eisenach, Germany. The General Assembly of the European Green Belt Association will be organized on 18 October 2018.

During the conference participants will have the opportunity to exchange best practices, lessons learned and of course latest news and developments from the European Green Belt. Interactive sessions will open the opportunity to get involved in the future development of the European Green Belt Initiative, and actively share opinions, knowledge and experience.


Conference programme


Detailed information about reimbursement and accommodation


Make sure to be part of the bi-annual meeting of the European Green Belt Initiative in Eisenach and register before 31 July 2018.


Due to a grant from the Thuringian Ministry of Environment and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, there are limited funds for reimbursement available. If you need reimbursement, please contact BUND Department Green Belt by 10 July 2018 at the latest and before filling in the online registration form and booking your hotel.



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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 European Green Belt