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From Cold War death strip to pristine ecological habitat

Oct 7, 2019 | News

(03 October 2019) – Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former Iron Curtain trail has become the longest biotope chain in Europe, known as the European Green Belt.

Iron curtain
© Nomadic

Where barbed wire, watchtowers and minefields once separated Europe, an unintentional, almost pristine ecological habitat could develop along the 12,500 km border. Environmental NGOs are now taking steps for it to become part of the European Commission’s green infrastructure strategy and UNESCO World Heritage.

Specific conditions have to be met, one of which being that the application should come from as many countries as possible, preferably from so-called “core countries” from Scandinavia, the Baltic, Central Europe and the Balkans. Friends of the Earth Germany is hoping that the current Finnish EU-presidency will provide “positive impulse”.

And just like the green belt in Europe, the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) serving as a buffer between North and South Korea has turned out to be an unexpected ecological haven for numerous species of flora and fauna. Which is why South-Korean environmental organisations are having a close look at the European Green Belt Initiative. (EurActiv)

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