The European Green Belt initiative is a grassroots movement for nature conservation and sustainable development along the corridor of the former Iron Curtain. The term refers to both an environmental initiative as well as the area it concerns. The initiative is carried out under the patronage of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Mikhail Gorbachev. It is the aim of the initiative to create the backbone of an ecological network that runs from the Barents Sea in the Arctic to the Black and Adriatic Seas.
The European Green Belt as an area follows the route of the former Iron Curtain and connects national parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves and transboundary protected areas as well as non-protected valuable habitats along or across the former borders. So far 6,800km of the intended 12,400km Green Belt have been established.
This guide is published by the Union for Environmentand Nature Protection of Germany and explains if graphic detail both how the original sealed border operated and how it has been transformed into a unique nature preserve: