The aim of the EU Green Week is to highlight the contribution that biodiversity makes to society and the economy and the role it can play in supporting and stimulating recovery in a post-COVID 19 world. On the 25th of September 2020, the project consortium of Interreg CE Centralparks, along with the Interreg DTP projects TransGREEN and ConnectGREEN, the newly launched Interreg DTP SaveGREEN and LIFE SwiPE projects, as well as the Carpathian Convention, organised a webinar entitled ‘Green Carpathians’. The aim of the webinar was to highlight the transnational aims to protect biodiversity in the Carpathians.
Figure 1.: EU Green Week © EU Commission
The webinar was opened by Harald Egerer, Head of UNEP Vienna office Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, with a keynote presentation. After welcoming all speakers and participants of the webinar, Mr. Egerer introduced the rich biodiversity of the Danube-Carpathian region and highlighted the extent to which it represents a hub for biodiversity at a transnational scale. He also gave an insight into the policy framework of the Carpathians and its integration in the EU Policy framework.
ConnectGREEN was the first project to be presented in the frame of the webinar. Following the keynote speech, Gabriella Nagy from CEEweb for Biodiversity, introduced the project, highlighting its focus on the mapping of ecological corridors and their management, and spatial planning in the Danube-Carpathian region.
Up next was Isidoro De Bortoli who, as project manager, presented the Centralparks project. The project coordinator from Eurac Research underscored the potential opportunities and role of the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas in their project.
Mr. De Bortoli handed over to Hildegard Meyer, project coordinator from WWF Central and Eastern Europe, who gave a presentation of the TransGREEN and SaveGREEN projects that focus on the issue of habitat fragmentation and the crucial role that these projects play in ensuring ecological connectivity in the Carpathians.
Last but not least, Roselina Stoeva from WWF Bulgaria and project manager of the recently started LIFE SwiPE project introduced the importance of increasing the effectiveness of wildlife crime prosecution across Europe.
The webinar was moderated by Irene Lucius, Regional Conservation Director of WWF Central and Eastern Europe, who facilitated a rich agenda that highlighted biodiversity protection in the Danube-Carpathian region from a variety of perspectives, and featured a stimulating exchange with participants. The event provided an opportunity to learn more about the natural values of the Carpathians and the main threats driving biodiversity-loss in the region. It created a platform that gave ongoing projects the chance to inspire younger initiatives as well as those still to come and established a space in which fruitful discussions could be led regarding tasks for the near future.