Binding Award: under the sign of the Green Belt Europe

River with wooded banks

The pristine scenery of the river Drava forms an essential part of the European Green Belt.

© Martin Schneider-Jacoby

Important conservation prize awarded for the 25th time.

Press information from November 20, 2010


Radolfzell/Vaduz.  In the frame of the International Year of Biodiversity, the Binding Prize 2010 was awarded in Vaduz yesterday evening. The prize is one of outstanding conservation awards in Europe. This year, the Binding Prize was awarded to five individuals who have one thing in common: for many years, they have been strongly and extraordinarily engaged in protecting the Green Belt. It is a positive and encouraging signal that the Binding-Foundation dedicated this year's Grand Prize to the motto "Green Belt Europe", honouring personalities for their outstanding efforts in the context of this unique, Europe-connecting conservation initiative. "The award is an incentive to continue efforts to preserve this important part of our European cultural and natural heritage” said Gabriel Schwaderer, managing director of the international nature conservation foundation, EuroNatur.

The Green Belt is over 12,500 km long and is a corridor of habitat along the former Iron Curtain, which has an exceptional biodiversity. It stretches from the far north of Europe to the Black Sea in the south. The fascinating idea of transforming the former Iron Curtain into a "Green Belt Europe" has meanwhile - at least in part - become a reality. This year's recipients of the Binding Prize - Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby (project manager at EuroNatur), Borut Stumberger (former President of the organization DOPPS BirdLife Slovenia and Regional Coordinator for the protection of migratory birds in South East Europe at EuroNatur), Dr. Uwe Riecken (Head of habitat protection and management of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation), Dr. Kai Frobel (species protection officer for the nature conservation and initiator of the project "Green Belt Germany), and Alois Lang (former coordinator of Green Belt Europe at IUCN) - played a decisive role in its conservation.

"The award gives encouragement to all persons involved in the conservation of the invaluable landscapes alongside the former borderline in Europe. In the shadow of the Iron Curtain, unique habitats were preserved, which are now threatened to give way to a continuously growing demand of land use. Today, the cross-border conservation in the frame of the Green Belt Europe, offers the prospect of a sustainable regional development in the once remote border areas. According to Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby, one of the winners, especially the Balkans offer opportunities that must be exploited. The long-lasting protection of the valuable floodplains and wetlands along the Green Belt is of his major concern. Already in May 1990, directly after the fall of the Iron Curtain, he became the project leader at EuroNatur, establishing together with Borut Stumberger the Danube-Drava National Park on the border between Hungary and Croatia, which now protects a very important section of the Green Belt.


Background information:

The Green Belt project, which in 1989 confined to the former inner German border area, starting as the "German Green Belt", was extended to Europe shortly after. Green Belt Europe is an international initiative launched in 2003 by EuroNatur, in cooperation with the BfN (German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation), BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) and the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The Binding Prize is worth CHF 50,000 and is awarded to individuals who exemplify the goals of nature conservation and work for environmental protection. More information about the award and previous winners can be found here.


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