Integration of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Carpathian region
The main objective of the Centralparks thematic work package No 1 (WPT1) “Integration of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Carpathian Region”, jointly implemented under the leadership of the Ekopsychology Society (PP4), is to build management capacities of the public sector entities responsible for the protection and sustainable use of natural heritage of the Carpathians, for reconciling and linking the conservation of biological and landscape diversity to sustainable local socio-economic development. Due to the above, WPT1 target groups include both protected area managers and local communities in the Carpathian region.
WPT1 aims at enhancing biological and landscape diversity conservation, improvement of ecological connectivity, and the integration of Carpathian protected areas (PAs) into broader landscapes, for which support of local communities is indispensable. Natural resources and landscapes maintained by PAs can be perceived as an important location factor, driver and asset for the local sustainable tourism development, which could raise the support of local communities for PA operations, provided the above concept as well as requirements of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development objectives are effectively communicated to the local stakeholders.
In line with the intention of the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme to encourage and facilitate transnational cooperation, three Thematic Transnational Task Forces (TTTFs) were established under WPT1, with the objective to pool the expertise of protected area managers and experts from all Carpathian countries, and capitalize on the exchange of information, experience, and best practices available in particular countries.
WPT1 assumes, and bases on the synergy of the above three TTTFs, tasked with the joint development of mutually supportive policy support documents or tools: strategies for enhancing biodiversity and landscape conservation outside and inside protected areas, for local sustainable tourism development based on natural and cultural heritage, and guidelines on communication between protected areas and local communities in the Carpathians.
Each of the above three deliverables will either supplement the existing strategic documents of the Convention (where e.g. landscape conservation has not yet been adequately covered), tailor and translate the thematic Protocols into the language of practice at the local scale (e.g. for biodiversity conservation in areas surrounding PAs, or the local sustainable tourism development), or fill the current gaps in Convention documents (communication with local stakeholders has not previously been tackled). These deliverables shall later be submitted for endorsement by the Carpathian Convention, facilitating their uptake to the policy level, follow-up activities, and enhancing the institutional and political sustainability of project outputs and results in a long-term perspective.