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.



9th Pan-European Green Belt Conference

Koli (Finland), 31st October - 3rd November 2016

The 9th Pan-European Green Belt Conference is taking place from 31st October to 3rd November 2016 in Koli, Finland. The conference venue is the Nature Centre Ukko in the Koli National Park Finland (Ylä-Kolintie 39, 83960 Koli (Lieksa), Finland).

The conference will give an insight and outlook on the cooperation and activities along the Green Belt. It will focus on solutions and best practices putting into action the vision of the European Green Belt on conserving the ecological network of high-value natural and cultural landscapes while respecting the economic, social and cultural needs of local communities.

In addition, the conference will contribute to the development of the European Green Belt as part of Green Infrastructure in Europe as well as to the strategic development of the European Green Belt Initiative.

Furthermore, the Pan-European Conference provides a platform for exchange between all partners along the Green Belt.




8th Pan-European Green Belt Conference in Slavonice marks a milestone for future cooperation

23-26 September 2014, Slavonice (Czech Republic)

More than 100 participants from 23 countries adjacent to the former Iron Curtain – the European Green Belt – as well as from Canada and the U.S. met at the Centre for the Future in Slavonice (Czech Republic) for the 8th Pan-European Green Belt Conference (23-26 September 2014): Press release.

Establishment of the European Green Belt Association e.V.

A milestone of the Slavonice Conference has been the establishment of the European Green Belt Association by 23 organisations from 14 countries. Governmental organizations (GOs) and Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) together established the European Green Belt Association. The new elected board consists of EuroNatur (chair), BUND (deputy chair), Federal Agency for Nature Conservation Germany (BfN), Ministry of Environment Finland, Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, Environmental Partnership Czech Republic and IUCN. Before establishment of the new association, the umbrella structure for cooperating GOs and NGOs has been a loose network. Now a legal body is established representing the initiative and ensuring coordination as well as information exchange among the European Green Belt community.

Regional priorities identified

In the very inspiring premises of the Centre for the Future the multinational attendees identified regional priorities for further implementation of activities, improvement of their network as well as future needs for conservation and enhancement of the European Green Belt. Useful input was given by two key note speeches about the “Importance of ecological connectivity and opportunities along the European Green Belt” by Prof. Dr. Andrew Gregory (Bowling Green State University, United States) and about “The European Green Belt and its ecosystem services as positive factor for biodiversity?” by Jenny Schmidt (Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, Germany). The basics for the future programme of work of the European Green Belt Association and Initiative were developed: In several interactive working sessions the participants of the conference identified transnational fields of work and long term aims which the initiative should deal with to secure the sustainable protection and development of the Green Belt: awareness raising and lobbying, trans-boundary management of protected areas, ecosystem services and nature tourism were only a few topics intensively discussed.

Results of the R&D-Project “Advancing the European Green Belt Initiative” presented

With contributions from the Coordination Group of the European Green Belt Initiative the project managers from BUND Project Office Green Belt and EuroNatur presented the results of the 3-years project supported by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with means of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. For more information about the project results please see the presentations here: Communication, Governance and Funding Structure.

In the light of the new developments around national park Šumava (Czech Republic) Dr. Jaromír Blaha from Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí Duha) spontaneously gave a presentation on "Šumava: a precedent case of European natural heritage protection - the role of NGOs" in the plenary.

New comprehensive brochure presented

The Coordination Group of the European Green Belt Initiative also presented a just published comprehensive and richly illustrated brochure containing latest information about the European Green Belt, its wilderness, nature and beauty, but also about recent threats and obstacles: Download here

Memorandum of Understanding between European Green Belt Initiative and European Cyclist Federation (ECF)

The evening before the official start of the conference the Coordination Group of the European Green Belt Initiative and the European Cyclist Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) on the European Green Belt and the Iron Curtain Trail (EuroVelo 13). Gabriel Schwaderer (EuroNatur), chair of the Coordination Group and Daniel Mourek, Vice-President of the European Cyclist Foundation, signed the Memorandum. Michael Cramer, member of the European Parliament, chair of the EU-Committee on Transport and Tourism as well as initiator of the Iron Curtain Trail (ICT) presented the ICT/EuroVelo13 to the participants in a comprehensive presentation.

Green Belt for gourmets – the “Green Belt Fair”

The official part of the conference ended with the “Green Belt Fair”. Participants presented activities and projects as well as specialities from their Green Belt regions: Typical cheese, sausage, wine, bread, sweets and more from all along the four regions Fennoscandia, Baltic, Central European and Balkan showing the cultural richness and diversity along the Green Belt complemented by sweets from Ontario region in Canada.

Green Belt for explorers

At the last day of the conference a widespread excursion program was offered. Two excursion groups around Slavonice – one of them by bikes - explored the rich cultural and historical heritage of the region but also the natural values. Two other excursions were conducted in the trans-boundary national park Thayatal/Podyjí (Austria/Czech Republic). The excursions were organized and guided by Centre for the Future and Czech Environmental Partnership Association (nadace partnerství).

8th Pan European Green Belt Conference - Impressions

7th Pan-European Green Belt Conference

16 May 2013 in Berlin, Germany

Video message of Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, acknowledging the great potential of the European Green Belt for building a green Infrastructure across the continent.


The conference presentations can be downloaded here:

10 years European Green Belt Initiative

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. 

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


6th Pan-European Green Belt Conference

28 to 30 June 2012 in Mavrovo, FYR Macedonia

Read about the results of the conference in the PRESS RELEASE.

The conference programme can be downloaded HERE.

The conference presentations can be downloaded here:

The current R+D project “Advancing the European Green Belt” jointly implemented by BUND-Project Office Green Belt and EuroNatur, supported by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), offers an important opportunity to strengthen and advance the Green Belt Europe Initiative. Background information can be downloaded HERE.

For further information, please contact us at greenbelt[at]


5th Pan-European Green Belt Conference

4th-5th October 2010, Kuhmo, Finland

4th Pan-European Green Belt Conference

22nd-24th October 2009, Linz, Austria

3rd Pan-European Green Belt Conference

18th -21st November 2007 in Bratislava/Stupava, Slovakia

2nd Pan-European Green Belt Conference

9th - 12th September 2004, Sarrod, Hungary

1st Pan-European Green Belt Conference

15th/16th July 2003, Bonn, Germany