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Green Belt

The opening of the borders between Eastern and Western Europe reveals that exactly the regions along the Iron Curtain have turned into especially valuable refuges for many threatened animal and plant species. In recognition of the uniqueness of these areas IUCN, the German Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and German non-governmental organisations launch the European Green Belt Initiative. It should contribute to the conservation of valuable natural sites along the borders and should stimulate their connectivity in an ecological network. The Balkan states join the initiative in 1999 when the concept of the Balkan Green Belt is conceived. The border mountains of Bulgaria (West Stara planina, Kraishte, Osogovo, Vlahina, Maleshevska, Ograzhden, Belasitza, Slavyanka, Rhodope and Strandzha) represent key elements of the concept. Their conservation and sustainable development will contribute to the implementation of the largest conservation initiative in United Europe.

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