Developing the Green Belt Initiative

Fresh momentum for the European Green Belt

© Zarko Brajanoski/MES
Working together for the European Green Belt. The initiative has picked up a fresh impetus for action from the conference in the Mavrovo National Park in July 2012. © Zarko Brajanoski/MES

The European Green Belt contributes crucially to the preservation of biodiversity in Europe. Several thousand nature conservation areas have been established along the one-time Iron Curtain. The initiative has set itself the goal of maintaining and developing the existing conservation areas and near-natural landscapes as core regions of a single ecological network. The same applies to the neighbouring areas. They are to act as stepping stones for animal and plant species so that the Green Belt can make an essential contribution to establishing a green infrastructure through Europe.

Nature conservation fosters reconciliation

Alongside its ecological significance the European Green Belt represents a unique landscape of remembrance and a living monument to how the Cold War was finally overcome. It helps Europeans to recognise what they have in common across cultures and separate countries and its existence helps us to form and further extend a network of nature conservation across borders. In doing this the European Green Belt contributes crucially to the development of civilian society in Europe.

Diversity in abundance under one banner

The European Green Belt extends across many countries in Europe and there are many, many groups active in it for the protection of biotopes.  At present it is divided into four sections:

  • Fennoskandinavian Green Belt (the northern part of Norway, Finland and Russia)
  • Baltic Green Belt (the area along the Baltic Sea)
  • Central European Green Belt (from the Baltic Sea coast to the River Drava )
  • Balkan Green Belt (from the River Drava to the Aegean and the Black Sea)

 Good coordination is much needed

Participants are EU member states, acceding, candidate and potential candidate countries as also non-EU states. Therefore the coordination of the initiative represents a formidable challenge, in particular because of the steadily increasing number of state and non-state actors and fields of action.
Following the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) resignation from the European coordination post in 2010, EuroNatur, already the regional coordinator for the Balkan Green Belt, has now taken over the responsibility for the further development of the initiative jointly with Green Belt Project Bureau of BUND (regional coordinator for the Central European Green Belt).

How are we to give fresh impetus to the work of the European Green Belt?

  • Pooling our efforts and energies: We are working on finding ways to coordinate the increasing number of stakeholders in the European Green Belt initiative, bringing them together across national borders and taking care of long-term financing of the initiative.
  • Attracting public attention: We create the conditions enabling us to raise public awareness of the European Green Belt effectively and to highlight the exceptional natural value of this unique wildlife corridor
  • Strengthening political support: We are pressing to get the countries along the European Green Belt to commit themselves to making the protection of the European Green Belt a genuine joint effort. In the northernmost section of the European Green Belt the governments of Finland, Russia and Norway have already signed a corresponding agreement. This is to be the model for the other sections of the European Green Belt.

What we have so far been able to achieve – a selection of important successes 

  • Clear allocation of responsibilities, creation of binding agreements: the 6th Pan-European Conference on the European Green Belt in the Mavrovo National Park in Macedonia was a milestone on our path. The goal of achieving an effective movement for the protection of the Green Belt is getting closer. Read more here...

Partners: BUND Green Belt Project Bureau (BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany)

Sponsoring: Federal Agency for Nature Conservation with financing from German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

Press release 6. July 2012 "Impetus for the European Green Belt initiative"

More ...

Do you want to help?


Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to protect the European Green Belt.


Three nations meet on a peak

In the context of the European Green Belt Days 2018, more than 50 people went hiking in the mountains. Their destination was the Three Countries Peak...

Swiss river conservationist receives EuroNatur Award 2018

++ EuroNatur Award 2018 goes to Roberto Epple ++ Europe-wide launch of online campaign #ProtectWater on the 9th of October ++

25 years of photo competition „Europe`s Natural Treasures“

++ EuroNatur presents highlights of the photo competition „Europe's Natural Treasures“ in a large size calendar ++ photo exhibition in National Park...

First European Rivers Summit held in Sarajevo

++ 250 people attend Summit to save Europe’s rivers and stop the damming ++ Participants call upon EU and Heads of State to stop funding hydropower ++...

Music for living rivers and against dams

Hundreds join the Concert for Balkan Rivers in Sarajevo. Artists sing to stop the hydropower tsunami on the Balkans.


Exemplary nature conservation at the European Green Belt

‘Green and vital’ is the motto of the community of Peja in Western Kosovo. And that’s not hot air at all. Peja has recently been decorated as ‘Model...

Scandalous deforestation in Romania revealed

The third episode of the investigative documentary series "Out of Control" reveals that the destruction of forests in the Romanian Cheile...

Another victory for the “Brave Women of Kruščica”

++ Women block bridge in Bosnia-Herzegovina for over a year to protect their river ++ New attempt by the investor to vacate the bridge has been...

Slovenian section of the Mur river becomes a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Good news for Central Europe's largest river landscape: UNESCO has acknowledged 29,000 hectares of floodplain of the Slovenian Mur river as a...

Illegal construction works in Valbona-National Park are still going on

Charade of Justice in Albania: Different courts mutually cancel their decisions in the case of the planned power plant Dragobia. The suffering ones...

Re-introduction of Cinereous Vultures in Bulgaria

Three young cinereous vultures are about to be released in the wild. In the eastern part of the Balkan range, our partners of Green Balkans and Fund...

Nature photo safari

Sunbathing seals, ruffs in combative mood and a delicate coming-together of common blue butterflies: 892 nature enthusiasts set out on a photographic...

Award for a River Conservationist with Passion

++ 2018 EuroNatur Award goes to Roberto Epple ++ Founding President of the European Rivers Network has devoted himself for decades to the wild rivers...

Blue Heart in the European Parliament

On Wednesday 27th June, there was a screening of the documentary film “Blue Heart” in the European Parliament in Brussels. In the subsequent debate...

Four years of successful white stork conservation

The project to preserve wet meadows and pastures has delivered great success for the white storks of Europe over the past four years. This project,...

By using our services, you agree that we use cookies. Data protection