The European Green Belt in Thuringia is a national National Nature Monument

Many people on both sides of a country lane

A symbol of european friendship: the international participants of the paneuropean Green Belt Conference visited the former Iron Curtain area of Thuringia in October. On 9th November the Thuringian part of the Green Belt was designated as National Nature Monument.

© Katharina Grund/ EuroNatur
Aerial of forest, meadows and wetlands

The Green Belt near the Thuringian village of Behrungen.

© Matthias Ditscherlein

To mark the 29th anniversary of the fall of the Wall in Germany, the Thuringian parliament passed a very forward-looking law on 9th November: the European Green Belt in Thuringia was designated as a National Nature Monument. The idea is to afford comprehensive and lasting protection to this unique wildlife corridor which runs along the former German-German border. “Almost 30 years after the peaceful revolution, we more than ever need this historic stretch of land which has developed from a death strip into a vital lifeline for a remarkable variety of species,” said Thuringia’s environment minister, Anja Siegesmund.  

In Thuringia the strip runs for 763 kilometres, representing more than half of the approximately 1400 kilometre length of the former German-German border. Its special value lies in its unique combination of diverse wildlife habitats, remains of historic border defences and cultural institutions such as border museums. 

EuroNatur welcomes Thuringia’s initiative: “In the shadow of the former Iron Curtain, many wildlife habitats have been preserved, which elsewhere have long since disappeared. What once divided, now joins. That Thuringia is affording complete protection to its section of the Green Belt, is a positive move that will be noted far beyond Germany’s borders”, said EuroNatur CEO Gabriel Schwaderer.

The European Green Belt is a corridor with an astonishing variety of habitats, which extends over 12500 kilometres of the former Iron Curtain from the high north of Europe down to the Black Sea and Adriatic in the south. The Green Belt joins eight biogeographic regions and 24 European states.

More about the European Green Belt Inititative

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