An outstanding characteristic of the region are its rich cultural landscapes – mosaic landscapes that have developed over hundreds of years of human settlement and cultivation, leading to a complex pattern of almost wild, untouched areas, interspersed with ancient and biodiversity-rich cultural landscapes, including brilliant flowering meadows that are an important source of the region’s rich biodiversity.
Our aim on the one hand is to secure the wilderness features of these areas through appropriate conservation measures, including non-intervention management. We are working with partners to identify, secure and where necessary and possible restore critical ecological corridors across the Carpathian Mountains. We are also working with protected area administrators to strengthen protected area management and coordinate management planning and implementation across larger areas. In the Southwest Carpathians, we have partnered with Rewilding Europe to reintroduce bisons 200 years after their extinction from the area.
At the same time, we are building the long-term support of stakeholders, including natural resource managers and local communities, for whom sustainable livelihoods are a key concern. We are working with local communities and entrepreneurs to develop and promote local development and businesses that support while profiting from natural heritage. We are also engaging in policy work to improve conditions for conservation and local development, e.g. by shaping regional development plans and related EU and national funding programmes.