Carpathian countries to discuss protected areas issues



Posted on 06 March 2013  | 
Representatives of protected areas throughout the Carpathian Mountains are preparing to meet in Slovakia in April to exchange experience and ideas about management of transnational protected areas.

The second conference of the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas is being organized by the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme in cooperation with the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic and the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas Steering Committee. The conference “Challenges and Opportunities in Carpathian Protected Areas” will take place April 23 – 26 in Tatranská Javorina in Slovakia.

“Protected areas in the Carpathians have identical problems because nature and culture are so similar”, says Hildegard Meyer of WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme. “The CNPA gives us the structure for networking and cooperation to solve these problems. It is one of the most important bodies that support the implementation of the Carpathian Convention”.

Included in WWF’s “Global 200” ecoregion list, the Carpathian Mountains are noted for their exceptional level of biodiversity, which is unsurpassed in Europe.

The Carpathians host Europe’s largest area of old-growth forests as well as the largest remaining natural mountain beech and beech-fir forests ecosystems.

The unique diversity of habitats of the Carpathians make them a haven for globally threatened species such as the European bison, the Tatra Mountain chamois and the Imperial eagle. The Carpathians are the last region in Europe to support viable populations of large carnivores. An estimated 8,000 brown bears , 4,000 wolves and 3,000 lynx can still be found here.

“For me the most important outcome of the conference will be to strengthen the CNPA and to advance transboundary cooperation. We will hear new inputs, outline problems and threats, discuss possible solutions and identify joint opportunities. The basis for future projects will be laid out”, Meyer said.

“The biggest challenges ahead of us are to overcome the difficulties of transboundary cooperation and to develop a work plan that reflects the efforts of the protected area administrations and at the same time supports the implementation of the Carpathian Convention”.

What to expect at the conference

During the conference, several distinguished keynote speakers will discuss a variety of perspectives on approaches and issues regarding the network of protected areas, such as the governance of protected areas, the science behind conservation, and the role of Non-Governmental Organizations. Amongst others, speakers will include representatives from DG Environment of the European Commission, the Alpine Network of Protected Areas (ALPARC), and the Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA).

Additionally, a number of workshops will be available for participants to engage in. The workshops will focus on sustainable financing, sustainable development in terms of stakeholder support, connectivity and continuity, cross-border cooperation, and ideas for maintaining cooperation in the future.

BioREGIO Carpathians project

In conjunction with the CNPA conference, the BioREGIO Carpathians project will host its mid-term conference in the same location, prior to the opening ceremony of the CNPA conference on April 23rd.

BioREGIO Carpathians was established in January of 2011, and is co-funded by the EU-SEE.The project works to promote common transnational management standards of the region’s ecological assets, as well as to identify and remove any natural, social, legal, or economical barriers that may hinder improved connectivity of the Carpathian Mountains region.

Media opportunities and registration

The week of conference events will conclude with a joint press conference between CNPA and BioREGIO Carpathians, and even provide an opportunity for conference participants to explore the natural and historical beauty of the local area with a selection of full-day excursions.

Online registration for the CNPA 2nd Conference will be available until March 25, 2013.
The Carpathian Mountains in Slovakia
© Juraj Vysoky Enlarge
The Retezat Mountains are one of the highest massifs in Romania, being part of the Southern Carpathians.
The Retezat Mountains are one of the highest massifs in Romania, being part of the Southern Carpathians.
© Dan Dinu Enlarge
Hildegard Meyer, WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme.
© Andreas Beckmann Enlarge

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