„Think on a Carpathian scale; act at a local and regional level” was the motto of the fourth conference of the participants of the Carpathian Framework Convention held on 24-26 September in Mikulov, the Czech Republic. The Hungarian delegation was led by Deputy State Secretary for International Affairs Katalin Tóth from the Ministry of Agriculture, which is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Convention here in Hungary.

The representatives of the countries affected by the Convention – the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia – and their partners in cooperation reviewed developments within the fields of sustainable tourism, sustainable forest management, climate adaptation, cultural heritage and traditional knowledge, sustainable industry, energy, transport and infrastructure, agriculture and rural development, and biological and landscape diversity.

The Parties to the Convention adopted the Protocol on Sustainable Transport, the Sustainable Tourism Strategy and the Carpathians Climate Adaptation Programme.

DownloadPhoto: Lenka Burcinová

In her speech, Katalin Tóth stressed the importance of preserving the common natural and cultural treasures and diversity of the Carpathian region, the opportunities inherent in sustainable tourism and the developmental intent of the Carpathians-Tisza cooperation. She drew attention to the importance of solving the region’s general economic and social problems and offered partnership to achieve this through exploiting the opportunities provided by the Convention.

The Parties plan to reinforce future cooperation within the areas of landscape management and protection, sustainable agriculture, green infrastructures and water and air protection. Increased emphasis will be placed on education, raising awareness and on the further involvement of local and regional levels.

The next Conference of the Parties to the Convention will be held in Hungary in 2017, when we will also be taking over the role of Presidency of the Framework Convention.

The Carpathian Framework Convention

The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention), which affects seven countries (Poland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic), was signed in Kiev in 2003 and came into effect in 2006.

The goal of the Framework Convention is to realise cooperation between the affected countries so that they may contribute to the protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians, preserve the region’s natural and cultural treasures, improve the standard of life and reinforce both the local economy and local communities.

The Carpathian Convention operates under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Conference of the Parties, which is the decision-making body of the Convention, meets every three years. Working groups are at work for each professional field, currently comprising a total of eight, in addition to which two thematic networks have also been established: the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas, which is primarily supported by the Biodiversity Protocol, and the Carpathians Wetlands Initiative, which facilitates the implementation of cooperation agreed upon within the framework of the Ramsar Convention.

Hungary was an active participant in the development of the Convention and continues to be regularly involved in cooperation, primarily with regard to biological and landscape diversity, forestry, tourism and climate adaptation activities. In addition, in future we will place special emphasis on facilitating the completion of the Cultural Heritage Protocol and on Carpathians-Tisza cooperation.

Further information on the Carpathian Convention can be found here: http://www.carpathianconvention.org/

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)