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carphatian  UNEP ON THE GROUND
Carpathian States adopt Protocol on Sustainable Transport

From 23 to 26 September, environment ministers and other high-level government officials of the seven Carpathian States met in Mikulov, Czech Republic for the fourth Conference of the Parties (COP4) to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians.

Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine have unanimously adopted the Protocol on Sustainable Transport. With the substantial support of the European Academy Bolzano (EURAC), several institutions and partners like Austria and Italy, including the civil society (WWF and IENE Network), the Protocol was the result of a series of intergovernmental negotiations in the context of the Working Group (technically and financially supported by the European Union "Access2Mountain" Project). Sustainable transport represents a major challenge for today's rural and urban environments – particularly in sensitive mountain regions of the Carpathians. Addressing the Ministerial segment, Mr Jan Dusik, UNEP Regional Director for Europe said: "Green Infrastructure is one of the main issues to be tackled in the future under the incoming Czech Republic's presidency of the Carpathian Convention as well as at the EU level; the new Transport Protocol gives the Carpathian countries an important tool in this respect.

Countries also adopted the Ministerial Declaration on Cultural Heritage and the Joint Alpine - Carpathian Statement on Adaptation to Climate Change. Concluding the meeting, Mr Dusik said "With great pleasure I note that further important steps have been taken towards the future ratification and implementation of the Protocols on Biodiversity, on Forests and on Sustainable Tourism. Besides the many other achievements in the various thematic fields (forestry, tourism, climate change etc.), and the realisation of concrete projects and initiatives in the various fields, I want to highlight particularly the value of strategic partnerships between the Convention with other Conventions and Institutions." The importance of the Carpathians is also continuously reflected at the global level, notably in the context of the UN, and besides the Alpine Convention often referred to as a best-practice example of regional mountain governance.

The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention) is the only multi-level governance mechanism covering the whole of the Carpathian area and the second sub-regional treaty-based regime for the protection of a mountain region worldwide. Since 2004, the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (ISCC) is administered by UNEP through its Vienna office.

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