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.




Protection and Valorisation of the longest Habitat System in Europe

April 2006 - May 2008

Along the former “Iron Curtain”, the longest European system of habitats has been preserved due to decades of inaccessibility. However, the location within border areas did not only help to protect nature, but also constrained the economic development of the adjacent regions. GREEN BELT aimed at transforming the former “death belt” into a green “life line” by focusing on the use of the natural potential of the project region to foster a sustainable economic development of the area. GREEN BELT implemented pilot studies with solution-oriented approaches in the fields of traffic, tourism, regional marketing and education. The project also aimed at improving the communication between the people once separated and at raising the awareness that nature protection can be compatible with sustainable regional development.

Main Projects Results:

  • Contribution to a sustainable trans-national Green Belt network working for the protection and valorization of the longest habitat system in Europe,
  • Feasibility studies on the topics “Gap analysis of the Green Belt”, “Sensitive traffic development”, “Involvement of the local population into Green Belt tourism”,
  • New common corporate design of the Green Belt initiative: website, printed material and mobile exhibition and leaflet "Central European Green Belt" in seven languages
  • Green Belt workshops for stakeholders on the local, regional and national level
  • Pilot projects: Signposting of thematic cycle trails and an adventure hiking-trail in selected areas along the Green Belt

Project partners:

Association for Rural Development in Thuringia, Erfurt, DE (Lead Partner)

BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany, Erfurt, DE

University of Applied Science Erfurt, DE  

Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Ceske Budejovice, CZ

Oziveni-Bohemian Greenways, Praha, CZ

Institute for Nature Conservation Austria in cooperation with the Austrian League for Nature Conservation, Graz, AT

Austrian League for Nature Conservation Burgenland, Eisenstadt, AT

Slovak Environmental Agency, Banská Bystrica, SK

Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, Bratislava, SK

Hungarian Cyclist Club, Budapest, HU

Castanea - Society for Environmental Protection, Sopron, HU

Logarska dolina d.o.o., Solcava, SI

Javni Zavod Krajinski Park Goricko, Grad, SI

Thuringian Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Environment, Erfurt, DE

Hnuti Duha, Friends of the Earth Czech Republic, Brno, CZ

ETP Foundation – Sustainable Development Projects, Sofia, BG