Manu Pedroletti | 2015.05.08

Lithuania and the European Green Belt

Recently we talked about tourism and environment in Vilnius. Today we expand our horizons.

Do you remember Churchill’s speech, right after the end of the II World War about the Iron Curtain? I am sure you do. He was talking about the terrible infrastructure that for decades divided Europe and Europeans, that during the 20th Century meant division and hate between people. Now, finally, that thin piece of land has a different meaning and a different goal.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at

Today, thanks to the European Green Belt Project that portion of land has a different spirit: from division to unification. The aim of this initiative is in fact to create a cross-border area of conservation and sustainable development along the former route of the Iron Curtain.

‘From Szczecin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic’ said the former English leader. The newest project follows the exact same route, which starts in reality in Finland but this is just a detail, from the Barents Sea until the Adriatic sounds even better.

Regarding Lithuania and the other Baltic States, the route obviously follows the coastline, a delicate environment that today, more than ever, needs protection. This initiative could be another useful reason for not touching the Curonian Spit, a pearl of the Baltic.

Isthme de Courlande, LituanieDirectorate of Curonian Spit National Park

There is also a further project that aims to create an ‘Iron Curtain Trail’ for bicycles along the same path, but at the moment is incomplete.

The importance of this project is both international and national. On one side is the wish of Europe to demonstrate that is united and indivisible, on the other it can create many opportunities for the countries that are participating, from environmental protection to sustainable tourism.


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