Iron Curtain green belt backed by Gorbachev



BERLIN - Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who as Soviet leader presided over the troops
and tanks that guarded the Iron Curtain, now wants a nature reserve along
the full length of the former Cold War border, from Finland to the Adriatic.

German and other European environmental groups have devised a plan to create
nature parks out of the no man's land that separated the Soviet bloc from
the West.

Kept forcibly free of people during more than 40 years of the Cold War, the
border between Eastern and Western Europe became a refuge for plants and
animals. Costruction in the region now threatens these unintentional but
important nature reserves, environmentalists fear.

"Ecology isn't something we can only leave to politicians," Gorbachev, who
is president of the environmental organization Green Cross International,
said when lending his support to the project at a recent conference in Bonn,

Although the idea of making parks along former Cold War borders has been
around since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the conference was the
first time that representatives of all the border countries had met to
discuss the feasibility of having parkland ran the length of what was the
Iron Curtain.

Plans for the park are furthest along in Germany, where the border between
East and West Germany once stretched for 870 miles. A recent study found
that 85 percent of the land is still undeveloped enough to be included in a
national park.

Plans were delayed while courts determined the status of the land, but most
claims are now settled, and the German Finance Ministry recently announced
that it might be able to donate the 65 percent of former border land still
in government possession.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site