The aim of the Central Scotland Green Network is to improve landscape settings for towns and cities by increasing woodland and improving green space.
Scottish environment minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "This initiative has the potential to deliver real change for the people of Scotland's most populated area.
"The project will not only help to improve the environment and health of local people, it will also give the central belt a key competitive edge in terms of business.
"We know that high-value, high-tech businesses are attracted to high-quality environments and we believe delivering the green network will help attract new business — particularly important in a time of economic recovery."
A Partnership Board is being set up and a work plan is expected to be produced by the end of the year which will map how the project will be delivered. The initiative stretches from Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire in the west through to Fife and East Lothian in the east.
The aims are to improve networks for cycling and walking, increase woodland to help adapt to climate change, create habitats — which will improve biodiversity — and restore vacant and derelict land.
The project is one of 14 "national developments" designated in the Scottish Government's second National Planning Framework. The 19 local authorities covered by the network will incorporate the aims into their development plans.
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