Five countries mark Carpathian Parks Day



Posted on 23 May 2013  | 
Bucharest, Romania - 35 national and nature parks in five countries across the Carpathian Mountains will celebrate on 24 May and over the weekend the immense natural and cultural diversity of Europe’s last great wilderness area. Organized for the second time, Carpathian Parks Day will encompass iconic protected areas in the Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

“All Carpathian parks have something spectacular and unique to offer, and the aim of Carpathian Parks Day is to demonstrate the importance of protected areas in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development”, said Hildegard Meyer from WWF’s Danube-Carpathian Programme.

“Our aim is also to increase tourism and contribute to the financial stability in the region. Looking at the schedule of the events, the breath of activities is impressive – from bicycle tours and photo competitions to trail clean ups, tree planting, environmental education and round table discussions with local people. There are even some transboundary events”, Meyer said.

Among the parks taking part are the Tatra National Park in Slovakia, Piatra Craiului and Maramures National Parks in Romania, Gorgany Nature Reserve, Carpathian and Uzhanskyi National Nature Parks in Ukraine as well as Djerdap National Park in Serbia and Duna-Ipoly National Park in Hungary. Slovakia will have the largest number of parks involved, with 18 parks taking part.

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. One-third of all European vascular plants (3,988 plant species) can be found in this region, a remarkable 481 of which are endemic.

The unique diversity of habitats of the Carpathians makes 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.

The region receives twice as much rainfall as the surrounding area, and this freshwater feeds the Danube, Vistula and Dnister Rivers and their major tributaries through to the Black and Baltic Sea. More than 80 percent of Romania’s water supply (excluding the Danube) and 40 percent of Ukraine’s water supply comes from the Carpathians.

However, these European and global treasures are under threat as a result of the unprecedented change that the region is undergoing as it becomes increasingly integrated into the European and global economy. The ecoregion is undergoing unsustainable logging, overexploitation of large mammal species, habitat destruction from changing land use, habitat fragmentation from infrastructure development and destruction of freshwater habitats from river regulation and flood control.

“I would be extremely happy if more of us take this opportunity to visit a Carpathian park of their choice this weekend. Increased awareness will help decision makers, key stakeholders and the general public to better understand the importance of protected areas in terms of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development“, Meyer said.

About BioREGIO Carpathians project

Carpathian Parks Day is organized under the umbrella of European Day of Parks and as part of the project BioREGIO Carpathians which aims to enhance the integrated management of protected areas and natural assets of the Carpathian Mountains. Under the project, sustainable regional development and ecological connectivity are promoted. BioREGIO Carpathians is an EU project which is co-funded by the ERDF within the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme.

Participating parks

Hungary

Duna-Ipoly National Park

Romania

Maramures Mountains National Nature Park (MuntiiMaramuresului)
Piatra Craiului National Park
Retezat National Park
Rodna Mountains National Park (MuntiiRodnei)
Calimani National Park
Cheile Bicazului-Hasmas National Park
Putna-Vrancea National Nature Park
Iron Gates National Park (Portile de Fier)
Buila Vanturarita National Park
Gradistea Muncelului-Cioclovina National Nature Park
Ceahlau National Park
Defileul Muresului Superior National Nature Park

Serbia

Djerdap National Park

Slovakia

National Park Malá Fatra
National Park Poloniny
National Park Veľká Fatra
NAPANT - Low Tatras National Park
National Park Slovenský kras
Protected Landscape Area Východné Karpaty
Regional centre Prešov
National Park Slovenský raj
Protected Landscape Area Horná Orava
PIENAP
Protected Landscape Area Poľana
National Park Muránska planina
Protected Landscape Area Strážovskévrchy
Protected Landscape Area Malé Karpaty
Protected Landscape Area Ponitrie
Protected Landscape Area Cerovávrchovina
Protected Landscape Areas Kysuce, Slovakia
TANAP - High Tatra National Park

Ukraine

Carpathian Biosphere Reserve
Uzhansky National Nature Park
Gorgany Nature Reserve
Participants in Carpathian Parks Day.
Participants in Carpathian Parks Day.
© WWF Enlarge
Star trail in the night sky, Cheile Bicazului-Hasmas National Park, Carpathians, Transylvania, Romania.
© Wild Wonders of Europe /Cornelia Doerr / WWF Enlarge
Carpathian Parks Day.
Carpathian Parks Day.
© WWF Enlarge

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