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

Runtime: 2018 - 2021
Funding: EU INTERREG Danube Transnational Programme (DTB)
external link: http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/d2c


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 (DTB) 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. 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. The project defines feasible ecological corridors between Natura 2000 areas on transnational and macro-regional level and 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 identification of ecological corridors on local, regional and transnational level is based on innovative GIS approaches, partly based on newly available EU-Copernicus (Sentinel) data. 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 PP's staff and other involved institutions to further develop the European Green Belt in the DTP area.
Budget in Euro
    Overall: 2.086.654,10 EUR
    European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Contribution: 1.684.031,98 EUR
    Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) Contribution: 89.624,00 EUR


  • Bavarian branch of BUND, Friends of the Earth Germany, BUND Project Office Green Belt (Lead partner) GERMANY
  • Ametyst Non-governmental organization (ERDF partner) CZECH REPUBLIC
  • Environment Agency Austria (ERDF partner) AUSTRIA
  • University of Vienna, Division of Conservation Biology, Vegetation Ecology and Landscape Ecology (ERDF partner) AUSTRIA
  • Orség National Park Directorate (ERDF partner) HUNGARY
  • Duna-Drava National Park Directorate (ERDF partner) HUNGARY
  • N.F.A. Romsilva - Iron Gates Nature Park Administration R.A. (ERDF partner) ROMANIA
  • Public institution for management of protected parts of nature and ecological network in Virovitica Podravina County (ERDF partner) CROATIA
  • Ekopolis Foundation (ERDF partner) SLOVAKIA
  • State Nature Conservancy of Slovak Republic (ERDF partner) SLOVAKIA
  • Public Enterprise National Park Djerdap (IPA partner) SERBIA
  • Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Associated partner) GERMANY
  • German Federal Agency for Nature Protection (Associated partner) GERMANY
  • Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection (Associated partner) GERMANY
  • Regional Administration of Lower Bavaria (Associated partner) GERMANY
  • Sumava National Park (Associated partner) CZECH REPUBLIC
  • Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (Associated partner) CZECH REPUBLIC
  • EuroNatur Foundation (Associated partner) GERMANY
  • Ministry of Environment and Water, Bulgaria (Associated partner) BULGARIA
  • Nature Park Goricko (Associated partner) SLOVENIA
  • Croatian Agency for Environment and Nature (CAEN) (Associated partner) CROATIA
  • Municipality of Kölked (Associated partner) HUNGARY
  • Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (Associated partner) AUSTRIA
  • Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic (Associated partner) CZECH REPUBLIC
  • Ministry of Agriculture Hungary (Associated partner) HUNGARY


Thomas Wrbka (thomas.wrbka@univie.ac.at)