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 - Work must go on
    - 31-03-2020
    Work must go on

      The COVID-19 epidemy stops meetings and off-line team work, however field work is still possible as well as online collaboration. The Slovak D2C project team recently worked on a vision of the pilot area from a point of view of connection...

  • D2C - Paradox of today
    - 17-03-2020
    Paradox of today

    The COVID-19 pandemy is a reason of cancelling of the Dare to Connect project partners meeting in Romanian Iron Gate Natural Park, planned in April. It is sad, but inevitable as far we are facing the most dangerous threat since World War...

  • D2C - Planning of D2C activities in Czech republic in 2020
    - 10-03-2020
    Planning of D2C activities in Czech republic in 2020

    Usually, in the Ametyst NGO February is a time of decisions what to do in the coming period. What will happen in D2C project in 2020? We are intensively communicating with stakeholders on the Czech side of Pilot Region 1. We are inviting them to...

  • D2C - Croatia: Educational workshop on the occasion of the World Wetlands Day
    - 26-02-2020
    Croatia: Educational workshop on the occasion of the World Wetlands Day

    The Dare to Connect project is not only scientific, but also educational one. For example, very useful workshop about wetlands was held in Educational Centre Drava Story in Virovitica in Croatia. Pupils of 1. to 4. grades nearby schools...

  • D2C - First Project Meeting of the New Decade
    - 12-02-2020
    First Project Meeting of the New Decade

    On 16th and 17th of January project partners from University Vienna, BUND Department Green Belt and UBA AT met in Vienna. The discussion was on how to translate the results of the scientific part of the project into policy recommendations. This...

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