Preserving the European Green Belt as Green Infrastructure

More than 100 representatives of 24 European countries gather from 15 to 19 October at the World Heritage Site Wartburg for the 10th Pan-European Green Belt Conference. The nature conservationists between Finland and Albania are working on the transformation of the former iron curtain into a green lifeline.

Participants of the 10th Pan-European Green Belt Conference on the Wartburg in Eisenach, Germany
From the Green Belt to the Wartburg: the participants of the 10th Pan-European Green Belt Conference. © Katharina Grund

The European Commission has highlighted the importance of the 12,500-kilometre-long Green Belt Europe by recognising it as a project of European importance. "The Green Belt initiative is a model for cross-border cooperation between governmental and non-governmental organisations. This is the only way to maintain and develop the Green Belt as the backbone of a European network of ecological corridor", says Prof. Hubert Weiger, chairman of the BUND and member of the EuroNatur board. "Today, the Green Belt stands for the idea of a united and free Europe. Here a death strip develops into a lifeline", says Thuringia's Environment Minister Anja Siegesmund.

As a joint message of the conference, the European Green Belt Association as the steering structure of the European initiative and the more than 110 participants call in the "Eisenach Resolution" on all stakeholders and decision-makers from local, national and EU level to take further necessary steps to preserve and promote this common natural and cultural heritage as a green infrastructure. "The European biodiversity objectives can only be achieved if the European Union, its member states and neighbouring countries massively increase their investments in Europe's green infrastructure. The Green Belt shows these investments are worthwhile," says Gabriel Schwaderer, Director of EuroNatur.

The conference is organised by BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany), EuroNatur, the Thuringian Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation (TMUEN) and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).

Find more information on the European Green Belt website.

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