Arching across the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary, and down to Romania and Eastern Serbia the Carpathian mountains are Central Europe’s last great wilderness areas. PA4LP is protecting this wilderness while also ensuring benefits to local people.
Working through the Carpathian Convention substantial progress has been made in meeting targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Here are a few highlights: 

Enhanced Protection - New Initiative for Establishment of PA Corridors.
  • Results from gap analysis encouraged new initiative for PA corridor in the Southern Carpathians, building on the existing PA network. Total area would be over 1 million ha.

Operational Regional Network - the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas (CNPA) officially set up. 
  • CNPA, under the Carpathian Convention, is now up and running. The CNPA mid-term strategy has been adopted by the steering committee as of May 2010.

Economic Values of PA Recognized.
  • Economic valuation studies have been conducted at 2 Carpathian pilot sites (read the reports here: Part A and Part B).
  • Economic values of Maramures National Park have been incorporated into regional development plan for Maramures County, Romania. This is the first time economic values of PAs have been recognized as important elements for development in the Carpathians.

Human Capacity Increased - PA practitioners trained.
  • In 2010, over 40 protected area practitioners from all over the region were trained in the fields of management planning, sustainable tourism and community outreach. This included 13 PA trainers certifed as "Training Champions" - committed to training others and spreading knowledge throughout the Carpathian ecoregion. 

Participatory Management Guidelines Developed. 
  • Participatory management processes and guidelines are being developed and piloted in the region. These guidelines will help PA managers understand how to engage and work with stakeholders as part of management.

Management Effectiveness of PAs Tracked.
  • The Carpathian Protected Area Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (CPAMETT2) is now used by 50% of Carpathian PAs.
  • The associated Carpathian Protected Areas Clearing House Mechanism provides providing comprehensive visualized and interactive information on PA-related issues for park managers, businesses, experts and the general public.

Next steps for PA4LP in the Carpathians

  • Promote the establishment of a Carpathian Space through an ecological network of large viable PAs, based on the model of the Alpine Space.
  • Promote cross-sectoral integration of PAs and recognition of their importance for securing ecosystems goods and services and sustainable development.
  • Identify schemes of sustainable financing for PAs in the Carpathian countries, including joint efforts for improved European Union financing.
  • Continue capacity building programs to secure professional support for PAs management.
  • Support the implementation of the Carpathian Convention by strenghtening the CNPA.
Hikers in Protected Area, Carpathian 
Hikers in Protected Area, Carpathian


October 2010: Participation in the COP10 event "Implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Mountain Biodiversity: Regional Approaches and Conventions".

May 2010: 30 parks in five countries celebrate the Carpathian Parks Day for the first time. Around 4,000 people were involved and over 800,000 were reached via media.

February 2010: Publication of "Towards an Ecological Network for the Carpathians, Part 2".

2010: Recognition of Economic Values in Maramures National Park, Romania

2010: Securing 3 million Euro of EU structural funds for the implementation and management planning of the largest Natura 2000 area in Romania.

May 2009: The Southern Carpathian Initiative is launched at the Wilderness Conference in Prague

April 2009: Publication of "Towards an Ecological Network for the Carpathians". 

September 2008: CNPA kicks off in Poiana Brasov, Romania. 

2008: ProPark, a Romanian training programme for PA practitioners gets started. 

2007: A PAs Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool - the CPAMETT- is developed.

Watch Jana Urbancikova, Coordinator in the Bile Karpaty Education Centre in Czech Republic, explain how WWF contributed to the development of the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas (CNPA):

Watch Radoslav Povazan and Jan Cemecky, students of the University of Klagenfurt Master Programme on Protected Areas management: 


" Nature conservation needs to be more flexible, to apply the right type of management depending on the local conditions. "

Radoslav Povazan, MPA Student

Contact: Carpathians

Erika Stanciu, Carpathian Ecoregion Project Manager

Project manager © WWF

Transylvania, Carpathian Mountains-Romania
© Transylvania, Carpathian Mountains-Romania © Wild Wonders of Europe/Cornelia Doerr/WWF

"The clearing house mechanism developed through the PA4LP project is an extremely useful tool for sharing best practices and experiences and to learn more from each other."

Costel Bucur, Director of the Maramures Mountains Nature Park, Romania

Rose Chafer on wild rose-Eastern Slovakia
© Rose Chafer on wild rose-Eastern Slovakia © Rose Chafer


Governmental Institutions

  • Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic
  • Ministry of Environment and Water of Hungary
  • Ministry of Environment of Poland
  • Ministry of Environment and Forests of Romania
  • Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Serbia
  • Ministry of Environment of Slovakia
  • Ministry for Environmental Protection of Ukraine

  • MAVA Fondation pour la nature (MAVA foundation)
  • European Commission - General Directorate for the Environment
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • IKEA

  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
  • United National Environmental Programme (UNEP)
  • Europarc Federation
  • Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
  • University of Klagenfurt
  • Equilibrium Research
  • Carpathian EcoRegion Initiative (CERI),
  • Alpine Network of Protected Area (ALPARC),
  • Carpathian Convention

Carpathian Convention, CoP2

Carpathian Convention COP2
© Carpathian Convention COP2 © WWF-DCPO

The Carpathian Convention is the framework for PA4LP's work in the region.