The Sixth Conference of the Parties to the Convention for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathian Mountains met on 25 November 2020 -- for the first time online.
The Parties to the Carpathian Convention adopted a number of important documents to one of which the TRANSGREEN Project Partners made substantial contributions, the Joint Strategic Action Plan 2021 – 2026 for the Implementation of the Protocol on Sustainable Transport. The development process started within the frame of the TRANSGREEN Project (January 2017 – June 2019) with a meeting of the two Carpathian Convention Working Groups on Biodiversity and Transportation. Since then, several cross-sectoral meetings took place, most recently online, to finalize the document. It has three strategic objectives, (1) “Reducing negative impact of existing transport infrastructure on ecological connectivity”, (2) “Ecological connectivity and wildlife-vehicle collisions are taken into account in the development of transport infrastructure”, and (3) “Fostered cooperation of all relevant stakeholders of Carpathian Convention and enhancement of stakeholder participation in spatial planning, and development of transport infrastructure”. SaveGREEN will support the implementation of the first cross-sectoral action plan in the history of the Convention.
In their decisions, the parties explicitly recognised and thanked project partners of ConnectGREEN and TRANSGREEN for its activity and support, particularly with regard to the conservation of large carnivores, identification and conservation of ecological corridors, and promoting integrated approaches to transportation and infrastructure development. SaveGREEN was welcomed as follow-up project that builds on the results of ConnectGREEN and TRANSGREEN. It is important for the implementation of the Convention.
The Conference of the Parties, which takes place every three years, brings together parties to the convention from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine as well as observers, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environmental Programme, the European Union as well as WWF-CEE. This year's event marked the hand-over of the presidency of the convention from Hungary to Poland. The meeting had been planned to take place in Rzeszow, Poland in September, but was held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Carpathian Convention is one of the only conventions in the world dedicated to the protection of a mountain area. The Carpathian Mountains are home to many of Europe's greatest natural treasures, including primal and old-growth forests, wilderness areas, and the bulk of the continent's populations of bears, wolves, and lynx.