15th-16th May 2013, Berlin, Germany
Deepening international cooperation
The 10th anniversary of the European Green Belt Initiative was celebrated with a good mixture of official political statements, exchange of experiences and expertise and last not least music and dance from the European Green Belt.
At a jubilee event* in the German Ministry for the Environment on 15th May several ministers, ambassadors and further representatives of the 24 adjacent states received a Green Belt award for their commitment and as incentive to strengthen the activities for the Green Belt. The price was awarded by BUND and EuroNatur on behalf of the Coordination Group of the European Green Belt Initiative. Several of the appointed representatives underlined their political will to support the pan-European initiative: An official Joint Declaration of Intent was signed by eleven states during the event. Other Green Belt countries, which were not able to send representatives to Berlin, announced already to sign the declaration afterwards.
The anniversary celebrations were followed by the 7th Pan-European Green Belt Conference* on 16th May in the German Ministry for the Environment. Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, welcomed the participants via video message and pointed out the great potential of the European Green Belt for building a green Infrastructure across the continent. In the course of the conference achievements so far, but also future challenges and perspectives of the Green Belt Europe were presented and discussed.
In the evening before, the 15th, about 90 people, stakeholders of the 24 European Green Belt countries and a delegation from South-Korea met at the GreenNet Evening Reception** in the history-charged Berlin Wall Memorial. The reception was dedicated to deepening international cooperation and exchange. Several welcome speeches span the wide range of activities within the GreenNet-project, taking place in six Central European countries, the Pan-European initiative as well as interesting insights from the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Highlights were guided tours through the Berlin Wall Memorial and the world premiere of the European Green Belt Band, playing traditional music from the regions but reinterpreted.
Read more about the developments in the last 10 years in the FACT SHEET about the European Green Belt Initiative.
* The event was supported by the German Environmental Ministry and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and organized by these together with EuroNatur and BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany).
**Organized by BUND within the Central Europe project “GreenNet - Promoting the ecological network in the European Green Belt“, co-financed by ERDF