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

Duration: 2018 – 2021

Funding: EU INTERREG Danube Transnational Programme (DTB)


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


Thomas Wrbka

Florian Danzinger