ion and valorisation of the longest habitat system.. (GREEN BELT)
ion and valorisation of the longest habitat system in Europe
Start date: Mar 31, 2006,
End date: May 29, 2008
Borders separate, nature unites: Along the former "Iron Curtain", the longest European system of habitats has been preserved due to decades of inaccessibility. However, the location within border areas did not only help to protect nature, but also limited the economic development of the adjacent regions. GREEN BELT aims at transforming the former "death belt" into a green "life line" by focusing on the use of the natural potential of the project region to foster a sustainable economic development of the area. GREEN BELT will implement pilot studies with solution-oriented approaches in the fields of traffic, tourism, regional marketing and education. The project also aims at improving the communication among the peoples once separated and at raising the awareness that nature protection can be compatible with sustainable regional development. The vision of the GREEN BELT project is a pan-European Green Belt network from the Arctic to the Black Sea which is intended to become a model for other transnational networks in the field of protection of the natural heritage as a cornerstone of regional, national and European identity. By aiming at the long-term protection of this unique natural heritage, GREEN BELT will contribute to the implementation of NATURA 2000 and EU spatial policies such as the European Spatial Development Protocol (ESDP). Expected Results: The main result of the project will be a sustainable transnational Green Belt network working towards the protection and valorisation of the longest habitat system in Europe. Within the framework of the project feasibility studies on “Gap analysis of the Green Belt”, “Sensitive traffic development” and “Involvement of the local population into Green Belt tourism” will be conducted. Moreover, a new common corporate design of the Green Belt initiative will be developed, including a website, printed material and a travelling exhibition in eight languages. The project will develop transnational tourism marketing strategies, guidelines for local branding and efforts in establishing a network of providers of eco-tourism services. This is complemented by Green Belt workshops for stakeholders at local, regional and national level. Finally, pilot projects will be implemented in selected areas on the former borders, such as the sign-posting thematic bike trails and an adventure hiking trail.
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