D2C DaRe to Connect - Supporting Danube Region’s ecological Connectivity by linking Natura 2000 areas along the Green Belt

What is the GreenBelt?

With the European Green Belt, an extraordinary ecological network and living memorial landscape has been developed along the former Iron Curtain. In the area of the INTERREG Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) the European Green Belt connects 10 countries. It forms a backbone of the Pan-European ecological network and can provide a significant contribution to EU Green Infrastructure (GI) and TEN-G.

We dare to connect!

However, the Green Belt still suffers from a certain level of not sufficiently connected habitats and valuable landscapes. The main objective of the „DaRe to Connect (D2C)“ project is therefore the implementation of the EU Danube Strategy by further transnational development of the connectivity of the Green Belt as backbone of EU Green infrastructure (EU GI) by maintaining and enhancing ecosystems and their services.

Technology, nature and people

There are several main parts of the project: 

  • The project defines feasible ecological corridors between Natura 2000 areas on transnational and macro-regional level by innovative GIS and remote sensing approaches, partly based on newly available EU-Copernicus (Sentinel) data.      
  • Then, the project will provide concrete guidance and recommendations on planning and establishment of transnational ecological corridors connecting Natura 2000 areas on local and regional level, derived from pilot actions.
  • Results will be mainstreamed via a transnational strategic vision "Green Belt in the Danube Region 2030” to be endorsed by national political stakeholders.  
  • The improvement of capacities of responsible public bodies and NGOs will lead to better understanding as well as to an improved knowledge exchange and cooperation.
  • PR-work and events will give local/regional people and politicians an understanding of how connectivity and ESS can contribute to human wellbeing.

Project participation and learning interaction will enhance individual capacities of the project partners' staff and other involved institutions to further develop the European Green Belt in the DTP area.

The project activities are focused mainly in 6 pilot regions: 

You can read more about pilot regions here.

DaRe to Connect -  Supporting Danube Region’s ecological Connectivity by linking Natura 2000 areas along the Green Belt
Start date
End date
Budget in Euro
Overall: 2086654,1
ERDF Contribution: 1684031,98
IPA Contribution: 89624
ENI Contribution: 0
Call number
Call 2
Environment and culture responsible Danube region
Specific objective
Foster the restoration and management of ecological corridors


As soon as the project achieves an output, it will be published in this section. Check the project webpage for more information
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Project Partners

Name Type Email Country
Bavarian branch of BUND, Friends of the Earth Germany, BUND Project Office Green Belt Lead partner melanie.kreutz@bund-naturschutz.de GERMANY
Ametyst Non-governmental organization ERDF partner marinakova@ametyst21.cz CZECH REPUBLIC
Environment Agency Austria ERDF partner maria.stejskal-tiefenbach@umweltbundesamt.at AUSTRIA
University of Vienna, Division of Conservation Biology, Vegetation Ecology and Landscape Ecology ERDF partner thomas.wrbka@univie.ac.at AUSTRIA
Őrség National Park Directorate ERDF partner i.szentirmai@gmail.com HUNGARY
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Project News

  • D2C - Habitat and population connectivity analysis reveals fragmentation
    - 09-11-2020
    Habitat and population connectivity analysis reveals fragmentation

    As a part of the D2C project activities, Duna-Drava National Park Directorate, has set the goal to analyse the connectivity of Caspian whipsnake (Dolichophis caspius) distribution in the belt-shaped Danubian target areas adjoining the 50 km wide...

  • D2C - How was a project summer in Croatia?
    - 26-10-2020
    How was a project summer in Croatia?

    Despite COVID-19 limitations D2C project partners spent active summer implementing project activities. A few of them realized in Croatia as reported by the Public institution for the management of protected parts of nature and the ecological...

  • D2C - Successful webinar about ecological connectivity in Slovakia
    - 13-10-2020
    Successful  webinar about ecological connectivity in Slovakia

    The D2C project partners in Slovakia, the Ekopolis Foundation and the State Nature Protection agency organized webinar about migrations of animals in landscape. Though originally planned as a real seminar, due COVID-19 restrictions it was...

  • D2C - DaRe to Connect at the Berlin “Festival of Lights”
    - 29-09-2020
    DaRe to Connect at the Berlin “Festival of Lights”

    The project “DaRe to Connect” took part at 2020´s “Festival of Lights” in Germany´s capital Berlin. The “Festival of Lights” aims to set an example of solidarity, unity and togetherness, following an approach of light-art with over 100 works at...

  • D2C - Excursions to the European Green Belt in Šumava (CZ)
    - 14-09-2020
    Excursions to the European Green Belt in Šumava (CZ)

    Ametyst NGO and National Park Šumava organised two excursions to the former Iron Curtain to show the general public how the modern history is imprinted in the landscape of Šumava.  During approximately a 10 km long walk visitors learn about...

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Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)