European Green Belt Days

Celebrations of understanding

Participants of the EGB Day 2020 exploring the meadow and grassland area on a guided tour in Šumava National Park. © Jan Skalík

Every year in the period of 18 to 24 of September, people from north to south demonstrate with all their heart and strong commitment what the European Green Belt is about: an international peace and conservation project. In this period, the European Green Belt Initiative celebrates the European Green Belt Days (EGB Days).

Along impressive landscapes and with a variety of different events, this period is truly special as it actively brings people and cultures together across borders. Organisations work together, exchange their knowledge and, foremost, include the public to raise awareness about the European Green Belt. It is in this week of the year where many organisations implement numerous events to celebrate the biological diversity and cultural heritage of the European Green Belt.

The EGB Days date back to the formation of the European Green Belt Association e.V. on 24th September 2014 at the 8th Pan-European Green Belt Conference in Slavonice (Czech Republic) with the aim to ensure transboundary coordination and information exchange among the European Green Belt community.

Get an impression of the variety of the European Green Belt Days in the "Manual for celebrating European Green Belt Days".

European Green Belt Days 2021

Learning more about the Lesser Kestrel, a species emblematic of the Green Belt. © Green Balkans
The best way to learn is outdoors: excursion in the Strandja area at a Bulgarian-Turkish youth camp © Mahmut Koyaş

Almost back to normality: complying with the 3G rules, the European Green Belt Days 2021 could take place again with many people interested in nature. Numerous events demonstrated what connects the people at the European Green Belt on 12,000 kilometers across Europe: Acting for nature across national borders as well as the peaceful cooperation of formerly enemy countries.  The European Green Belt Association financed a total of six events in 2021 on the occasion of the European Green Belt Days.

The Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Science organised a popular science lecture and an interactive workshop for the general public. 40 participants attended the events, which integrated playful elements to get people excited about the Green Belt Europe in its northern region.

In the Czech town Slavonice, near Austria‘s border, partners of the Center for future set up a stall where they informed interested people about their work in this section of the European Green Belt. Since, that weekend, a fair was taking place in the town at the same time, numerous visitors turned up. After dark, light installations were projected onto the office of the Center for the Future in the old town of Slavonice.

The activities of the NGOs Finch in Kosovo and PPNEA in Albania -  some of which were jointly organised -  primarily aimed at getting young people excited in a playful way about the natural treasures at the European Green Belt and for their own regional traditions. On the first day, pupils from Kosovo took part in the traditional potatoe festival in the Albanian village Shishtavec, accompanied by many sports activities. On the second day, pupils from Shishtavec met pupils from Bresana, Kosovo; together they set off to the strictly protected area in the Shar National Park around the glacial lake Brezne, followed by a visit to the environmental eduction centre in Limith.

There was also a close cooperation between organisations from Bulgaria and Turkey during the Green Belt Days. The Turkish Association Back to Nature organised a youth camp in the forests of Standja. Experts from both countries showed the 24 young women and men some of the most ecologically precious areas in the region. They also visited villages in the border area and had the opportunity to talk and listen to residents at first hand about their experience at the time of the cold war. Green Balkans in Bulgaria also organised a mobile exhibition with life-size models of rare birds at the Balkan Green Belt. Children and young people in particular were thrilled by the meticulously designed bird models. Not surprising - because who has ever faced at eye level a vulture over one metre tall or has been allowed to touch one of the neatly drawn red-breasted goose?