The Fall of the Berlin Wall was Impetus for Nature Conservation without Borders

Cry for Help from East Germany: Last Minute Rescue of Natural Resources

Press release from 6 November 2009


Radolfzell. ”Pulling down the Iron Curtain did not only liberate people all over Europe but it also opened new perspectives for nature conservation”, states Gabriel Schwaderer in Radolfzell, Managing Director of the European Nature Heritage Fund, at the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 2009. “The opening of the borders between East and West created a unique opportunity to put the greatest gems of nature in Eastern Germany under nature conservation on a large-scale”, says Schwaderer. EuroNatur was one of the driving forces for the development of the National Park Programme in Eastern Germany. 

Enforcing this programme was a huge success for nature conservation and literally a last minute rescue: In the last months before the end of the DDR (German Democratic Republic) EuroNatur received a cry for help from East Germany. Official and private environmentalists were feverishly working on a National Park Programme, which needed to get approved of at all costs before the dissolution of the DDR parliament. EuroNatur acted fast and in a non-bureaucratic way. The Nature Heritage Fund not only provided conceptional and moral support but also provided material help by sending furnishings, PCs and vehicles. A true successful aid organisation: The last resolution of the last meeting of the DDR Council of Ministers was the National Park Programme. It concluded the final conservation of 14 regions as “a continuous contribution for nature conservation in a unified Germany and to secure the natural heritage in Europe”.

For several years EuroNatur has supported the development of the Müritz National Park in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The Natural Heritage Fund was already active behind the Iron Curtain before the German reunification. For example they had started to work on the protection of precious natural paradises like the wetlands along the rivers Danube, Drau and Mur, which today belong to the “European Green Belt”.

Background Information:

  • Find out more about the “European Green Belt” and EuroNatur projects in the Green Belt of the Balkans.

For further questions please contact:

Konstanzer Straße 22
78315 Radolfzell
Fon +49 7732 - 92 72 10
Fax +49 7732 - 92 72 22
Contact: Gabriel Schwaderer
Press contact: Katharina Grund

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