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.



GreenNet Project (Central Europe Programme)

Promoting the Ecological Network in the Central European Green Belt

April 20011 - June 2014

The project aims to support and strengthen policies, strategies and approaches to safeguard the ecological network Green Belt. It focusses on legally non- or low protected ecologically valuable areas in the Central European Green Belt. Further enhancing of nature protection in 6 GreenNet pilot regions will be aspired by applying local and regional tools, instruments and strategies to enhance nature protection, civil participation and public awareness. The development and implementation of a joint transnational strategy for management and securing non- or low protected areas will be developed also as basis for the closure of gaps between protected areas. Other main topics are political lobbying on EU- and national level as well as the scientific networking on Green Belt issues (Proceedings of the 1. GreenNet Scientific Conference (2012) "The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network").

Main results expected:

  • a common transnational methodology will define regional goals and landscape quality objectives for the pilot regions
  • the GIS tool will serve to visualize and evaluate the data collected during regional surveys and inventories
  • transnational benchmarking of tools and instruments for nature conservation
  • development of tools for safeguarding ecological networks
  • transnational management and protection strategy
  •  “Charta of the Green Belt”, comprising of a common transnational management strategy and Greennet toolboxes
  • promoting the European Green Belt as World Heritage

GreenNet pilot regions:

  • Grabfeld (Germany)
  • Cesky Les/ Oberpfälzer Wald (Czech Republic/Germany)
  • Northern Weinviertel (Mistelbach)/Znojmo/Jarovce-Rusovce (Austria/Czechia/Slovakia)
  • Kučnica/Kutschenitza-Mura (Austria/Slovenia)
  • Southern Burgenland (Austria/Slovenia)
  • Julian PreAlps (Italy/Slovenia)

Project partners:

Association for Rural Development Thuringia (Germany), Lead Partner

BUND-Project Office Green Belt, Friends of the Earth/FoE (Germany)

Ametyst – Environmental Protection Association (Czech Republic)

Regional Environmental Center (Slovakia)

C.E.T.A. - Centre for Theoretical and Applied Ecology (Italy)

University of Applied Sciences Erfurt (Germany)

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (Austria)

Nature Park Goricko, Public Institute (Slovenia)

Austrian League for Nature Conservation Lower Austria

Regional Management Burgenland GmbH (Austria)

Austrian League for Nature Conservation Styria

GreenNet Photo Competition

"From Iron Curtain to Lifeline - The Central European Green Belt"

According to the motto „From Iron Curtain to Lifeline“ photographers had been invited to hand in photos of landscapes, border relicts (Iron Curtain) and (border-)land art objects as well as people, animals and plants along the Central European Green Belt. From 75 submissions 12 winning pictures were selected by an international jury. They will be published in a birthday calendar in 2014.

Have a look at the winning pictures...

At black lake in national park Sumava, Radek Sieber, Czech Republic.
Autumn rainbow of colours near Kruplivnik, Gregor Domanjko, Slovenia.
Bee eater, Alexander Schneider, Austria.
Canoe tour in the March-Thaya floodplains, Ute Nüsken, Austria.
Former border patrol way near Lindewerra, Juliane Röder, Germany.
Near Socerb, view to trieste, Roberto Furlan, Italy.
Habitat management during cross-border Green Belt Camp at River Maltsch/Malse, Josef Limberger, Austria.
Former watchtower near Hodos, Natasa Kos, Slovenia.
Former border post near Wirlspitze, Jürgen Starck, Germany.
Pine tree near "devils pulpit" at the Green Belt near River Werra, Juliane Röder, Germany.
Storcks buffet at River March floodplains, Karl Chladek, Austria.
Walking along the fromer Iron Curtain near Vrtojba, Alessandro Coccolo, Italy.