In early November, a BBF team participated in a Green Belt conference in Ulcinj, Montenegro, with representatives from 22 European countries. The idea was to present the first 11 projects selected within the framework of the BestBelt project to all other participants. Among the projects was the Bulgarian one for fountains study in the municipality of Topolovgrad, in which BBF is a partner.
The valuable exchange of ideas between new and established activists along the European Green Belt was a positive contribution to the networking of the European conservation community. The European Green Belt projects are not only about conservation, cross-border cooperation, and above all, European stability and integration.
The BESTbelt conference took stock of the green jobs that already exist along the European Green Belt and looked at the potential to create new jobs. The number of jobs that already exist is very encouraging. Petar Vanev from BSF, who also participated in the Conference, hopes that BSF's idea for a continuous route from Barentsovo to the Black Sea will become a leading project for the Green Belt in the coming years. This pedestrian route of the European Green Belt will allow people to touch the territories and create many new jobs along its length.
It was 33 years ago that the Berlin Wall fell, signalling the beginning of a new era. A unique opportunity presented itself, not only for German unification but also for European cooperation and integration. It was also the start of an ambitious European conservation project, the European Green Belt, which set itself the target of transforming the Iron Curtain from a death strip into an area where life could flourish. Despite all the setbacks and difficulties, nature and biodiversity have been successfully preserved or restored along very significant stretches of the 12,500 km European Green Belt.
Over the last year, the European Union has been supporting the European Green Belt with the BESTbelt Project. This has above all involved the strengthening of local groups and activists along the European Green Belt and supporting them in the more effective protection of biodiversity. In the first round, BESTbelt has been promoting 11 small projects for the protection of biodiversity along the European Green Belt from north to south. There will be an application process for further new projects in 2023.