New project “DaRe to Connect” (D2C) in the Danube Region

The project „DaRe to Connect - Supporting Danube Region’s ecological connectivity by linking Natura 2000 areas along the Green Belt“ (D2C) has started on 1 June 2018 under the Lead-Partnership of BUND Department Green Belt. It aims to further improve the transnational ecological connectivity between protected areas along the Green Belt, to enhance the Green Belt partner network and to implement the strategic vision “Green Belt in the Danube Region 2030”.

D2C Projet partner meeting in Nuremberg © BUND Department Green Belt

The main objective of D2C is to further develop the transnational ecological connectivity between Natura 2000 (and other protected) areas along the Green Belt in the Danube Region and to serve towards a further implementation of the EU Danube Strategy. This is also aiming at strengthen the Green Belt´s unique feature as a backbone of the EU Green Infrastructure by maintaining and enhancing ecosystems and their services (ESS). Eleven partners, governmental and non-governmental organisations from eight countries (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia) and 15 so called Strategic Associated Partners,  are involved in the project running until May 2021. Within six pilot regions (see list below) data on ecosystem services will be collected and concrete measures will be taken to connect valuable habitats. By the analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery (among others SENTINEL-2) a comprehensive set of information on ecological data will be set up on each side of the former Iron Curtain. Furthermore concrete guidance and recommendations on planning and establishment of transnational ecological corridors connecting Natura 2000 areas on local and regional level will be provided. The results derived in the project will be mainstreamed via a transnational strategic vision "Green Belt in the Danube Region 2030” to be endorsed by national political stakeholders. The improvement of capacities of responsible public bodies and NGOs will lead to better understanding as well as to an improved knowledge exchange and cooperation. Public relations activities and events will give local/regional people and politicians an understanding of how the European Green Belt can contribute to connectivity and ESS and therefore also to human wellbeing.

For further information, please visit the project´s webpage or contact Melanie Kreutz (Bavarian branch of BUND, Friends of the Earth Germany, BUND Department Green Belt).

List of the pilot regions of the DaRe to Connect project

  1. Bavarian Forest-Mühlviertel-Šumava (DE/AT/CZ)
  2. Zahorie-Little Carpathians/Malé Karpaty (SK)
  3. Őrség-Goričko (HU/SI)
  4. Iron Gates-Djerdap (RO/SRB)
  5. Drava River in Virovitica-Podravina County (HR)
  6. Danube River oxbows (HU)