The parties to the Carpathian Convention adopted a number of important documents to which WWF-CEE made substantial contributions; including an international action plan on the conservation of large carnivores and ensuring ecological connectivity; a strategic action plan (2021-26) for the implementation of the Protocol on Sustainable Transport; and a long-term (2030) vision toward combating climate change in the Carpathians.
In their decisions, the Parties expressed concern regarding negative impacts on Carpathian forests, particularly from climate change and illegal logging. They also explicitly recognised and thanked WWF-CEE 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.
In his official remarks to the Convention, WWF-CEE Regional CEO Andreas Beckmann emphasised the urgency of addressing challenges from climate change and biodiversity loss, and seizing opportunities related to the EU Green Deal and the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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 and 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 postponed 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 bear, wolf and lynx populations.
by Andreas Beckmann, Regional CEO at WWF Central and Eastern Europe (WWF-CEE)