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How The Cold War Boosted Conservation

Greenbelt view from Germany
Nickel van Duijvenboden
Wikimedia Commons -2017
A portion of the Green Belt border between Sorge and Hohegeiss in the Harz mountains in Germany.

Today the European Green Belt is a stretch of rich and flourishing land in Western Europe that extends north to south for thousands of miles. However, during the Cold War the strip was a no-man’s land that separated the Soviet Union from non-Soviet countries. 

Fences and even landmines scattered the border prohibiting any human development. The European Green Belt is one of many examples of places that accidentally became a nature preserve because of the Cold War. Host Frank Stasio talks with Lisa Brady, professor of environmental history at Boise State University, about how the Cold War influenced conservation.

Brady will give a lecture tomorrow at Duke University in Durham at 5 p.m. called “No-Man’s-Land as Nature Preserve: The Strange Case of Cold War Conservation.” 

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