Baltic Sea coast joins the European Green Belt



The 6th Pan-European Green Belt Conference took place in June 27. – 29., 2012 in Mavrovo, Macedonia.

The Green Belt conference is an annual event taking place each time in a different Green Belt site. This time the conference was hosted by Mavrovo national park in Balkan Macedonia. The conference gathered 100 professionals from 21 Green Belt countries. Asnāte Ziemele, the president of the Latvian Country Tourism Association presented the experience and results of the Green Belt Military Heritage pilot project in Latvia. The representatives of the Green Belt countries approved new territories joining the Green Belt. Asnāte Ziemele was approved as the Baltic Green Belt NGO representative. The European Green Belt initiative is presently headed by the EuroNatur foundation (Germany). There are the following sections in the European Green Belt:

1) Feno-Scandinavian Green Belt (the northern part with Norway, Finland and Russia);

2) Baltic Green Belt (the area along the Baltic coast);

3) Central European Green Belt (the Baltic coast to the river Drava)

4) Balkan Green Belt (from the river Drava to the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea).

12 European Green Belt coordinators meet twice a year. The next meeting will take place in Finland, in winter 2012. 

Press release see here.


There are three national parks in Macedonia. The largest of them is the Mavrovo national park, established in 1949 to protect the beautiful landscapes of the mountain massif (summits up to 2000m and higher), plants and animals, among them, the Balkan lynx Lynx lynx martinoi which is endangered species (as a result of cutting of forests and disappearance of natural habitats). One of the dominating features in the park is the Lake Mavrovo. It is an artificial lake, made collecting waters from the surrounding mountains. The Mavrovo village has a skiing slope and a resort which has though lost some of its original splendour due to changing economical situation. There are walking and cycling routes in the national park marked with paint on stones and trees. One of the most interesting tourist attractions in the park is the Galichnik (Галичник) village maintaining and demonstrating the local traditions not only in architecture and landscape but also in festivities and wedding celebrations.

The European Green Belt is a European initiative uniting nature areas and regional development projects both sides of the former Iron curtain. The Green Belt goes through 23 countries and represents a 12.500 km long band stretching from the Northernmost point in Europe, through Central Europe, to the Black, Aegean, Ionian and Adriatic seas.  The Green Belt comprises 3272 protected nature sites within a 25km wide buffer zone in each side of the Green Belt. More information can be found in the Green Belt web site

In 2009-2011, the Latvian Country Tourism Association participated in the BSR Interreg project „Baltic Green Belt” The pilot project developed a military heritage data base and a map presenting military heritage sites in the Green Belt in Latvia. The project also produced military heritage management guidelines and touring routes. The data base containing more than 100 military heritage objects is accessible at . The Military Heritage map is available from the office of the Latvian Country Tourism Association.


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