The Green Belt: a unique biotope along the former "death strip"

It's an irony of history: The former "death strip" between East and West Germany has become a unique biotope thanks to its decade-long isolation during the Cold War. Today, this unique natural memorial of Europe's decision is protected and named the "Green Belt". It has also become a part of the Iron Curtain Trail.

Jointly with the German Association for the Environment and Protection of Nature (BUND), Klaus Buchin was one of the first to discover the valuable natural treasures along the former border trace and able to get them protected. They achieved that the “Green Belt” was discovered as a biotope, secured by the Federal states. As unanimously accepted by the Bundestag in 2004.

The “Green Belt”, now 6,800 km long, from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea, is now under the protection of Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union and today President of the Green Cross International (GCI). With that, the significance of the “Green Belt” for the protection of the natural environment and its value as a symbol of unification between East and West is now recognized internationally.

The “Green Belt” consists of 150 natural parks, 150 flora-and-fauna areas, three biosphere reservations Schaalsee, Elbaue and the Rhoen and the National Park of the Harz Mountains.It starts at the baltic and goes along the czech border. It passes countless rivers, streams, and lakes and takes you through the higher parts of the Harz mountains and through the forests of Thuringia. You pass many monuments and border land museums and also several of the remaining observation towers.

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