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10th Meeting of the Carpathian Convention Working Group on Sustainable Tourism

On 15th of April 2021, the 10th Meeting of the Carpathian Convention Working Group on Sustainable Tourism (WG Tourism) took place. The meeting had two key objectives: a) to get updates on the implementation of the Protocol on Sustainable Tourism to the Carpathian Convention (hereinafter the Protocol) in the Carpathian countries and b) to facilitate discussion on further activities of the WG Tourism with the support of the Carpathian Sustainable Tourism Platform (CSTP) and its official Centres. The degree to which both of these aims have been taken into account by the parties to the Convention can be evaluated in the update section of the table below.

Country Updates
Czech Republic– National document to implement the Protocol has been enforced.
– National roundtables on the process of the Carpathian Convention take place on a regular basis.
– Besides the implementation of the specific projects related to the Carpathian Convention, the country is also proactive in other sustainability-related developments e.g., European Cultural Route of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
Hungary– Active in implementing the Carpathian Convention in general.
– Legislation regarding the sustainable tourism has been specifically influential at the national level: it has become a horizontal goal in various national plans and strategies, produced by the Hungarian government.
Poland– To date, several ministries have supported the development of the sustainable tourism practices in the Carpathians. Financing is currently dedicated towards the projects which will do both – create better tourist routes as well as promote safety within those routes.
– 1 memorandum of cooperation has been signed within the frame of the CSTP, namely – MoC – between the CSTP Centre – Poland and the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention.
– Poland is also actively developing sustainable highking tourism e.g., Trekking without backpack project.
Romania– Active in implementing the Strategy for Sustainable Development in the Carpathians. For detailed information on the country’s updates in relation to this theme, please click here.
Slovakia– This year, the country focuses on the promotion of the sustainable practices in the protected areas.
– Ministry of Environment of Slovak Republic is actively working with several local and regional organisations, especially focusing on cleaning mountain trails together with hiking and cycling spots.
– Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic is also an important actor within the sustainable tourism realm. To check some of the projects supported by this authority please click here.
Ukraine– Sustainable development in the Carpathians is promoted alongside general government as well as several other related private (especially regional) organisations.
– Network of national parks and relevant infrastructure for sustainable tourism is also in progress.
– The country is preparing to host an online meeting with relevant sustainable tourism experts from around the world.
Table 1: Countries’ updates from the 10th Meeting of the Carpathian Convention Working Group on Sustainable Tourism

Centralparks and sustainable tourism 

During the final session of this meeting, various organisations presented the ongoing projects and good practices on sustainable tourism in the Carpathian region. Among these, the Centalparks project, together with its key focus on the integration of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, were observed. 

A milestone of the project in the realm of sustainable tourism is the Draft Strategy on Local sustainable Tourism Development in the Carpathians. The main focus of this Draft is to enhance the contribution of tourism to the sustainable development of the local economy in the Carpathians. This, in turn, should allow a more equal sharing of benefits and revenues from the tourism sector throughout the Carpathian municipalities. Furthermore, the Draft Strategy also aims to mitigate the impacts of tourism on fragile mountain ecosystems of the Carpathians by dispersing, redirecting and channeling part of the regular tourism traffic out of the post sensitive sites of the protected areas to less ecologically sensitive areas.

The implementation of the Draft is planned under the three separate pilot actions to be launched in spring 2021 in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovak Republic. The pilot implementation will involve Carpathian protected areas and local communities.

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