The 'Iron Curtain' divided Eastern and Western Europe for almost 40 years cutting off contacts between people on both sides. Nature seized the deserted border areas. Today a string of beautiful habitats with rare plants and animals connects European landscapes and forms a living monument of European history.
The vision was to preserve the Green Belt as backbone of an ecological network, running from the Barents to the Black Sea, as a living monument and global symbol for transboundary cooperation in nature conservation and sustainable development.
The project began with a meeting of German nature conservationists of both sides of the former Iron Curtain on December 9 th 1989, initiated by the Bavarian branch of BUND in Hof. Since then nature conservationists lobbied, analysed habitats, bought land parcels, initiated pilot projects to preserve the Green Belt and establish a habitat network around the "backbone" Green Belt.
2003 at the inauguration of the West-Eastern Gate, a land art project at the Inner German Green Belt, by Michail Gorbatchov, the idea of the European Green Belt was born. Since then partners from 23 countries along the former Iron Curtain have cooperated in the preservation of the European Green Belt.
Results can be seen on the websites: www.europeangreenbelt.org and www.greenbelteurope.eu.