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.

Join the Youth Video Contest!

The Interreg ConnectGREEN project is currently promoting an exciting video contest. By participating in this contest, you can contribute to the awareness raising practices within ConnectGREEN, which is run by partners from five European countries, with an aim to safeguard ecological corridors in the Danube-Carpathian region. If you are passionate about protecting European wildlife, do join us!

ConnectGREEN

The Danube-Carpathian region is one of the last strongholds for the large carnivores, such as the: grey wolf, Eurasian lynx and brown bear. In recent decades, however, the habitats of such carnivores as well as of other important species of wild animals have been severely threatened by the ongoing infrastructure developments.

To avoid further fragmentation of these habitats, ConnectGREEN therefore aims to increase the presence of ecological corridors, allowing the animals to move safely and freely between the preferred habitats. In its simplest form, the idea of the ecological corridors is summarised concisely in this video:

Am I eligible to join the contest?

For the contest, ConnectGREEN is inviting all students from both schools and universities from Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Serbia, to join the project on the ride. In order to familiarise yourself with the specific criteria that your country holds for this event, please check the respective website below.

Contest deadline

The deadline for video submissions is 28th April 2021. The contest itself will run from 30th April to 14th May. On 19th May, the winners will be announced. Don’t miss out!

Let’s celebrate this Earth Day together!

Every year on 22nd of April the world celebrates the Earth day. Here are some interesting facts to get you intrigued:

  • On the first Earth Day in 1920, more than 20 million people protested on the streets all across the United States to urge politicians to take action against the environmental degradation. To this day, this event remains the largest single day protest in human history.
  • On Earth Day 2016, the Paris Agreement was signed. This environmental agreement is often referred to as a milestone in the global climate change regime.
  • On Earth Day 2020, over 100 million people around the globe observed the 50th anniversary of this event from their home screens. This, again, was the largest (online) mass mobilisation in history.

If you are after some additional facts, do watch this fascinating video:

What is the idea behind this year’s event?

The key point behind this year’s event is innovation. Moreover, it is about putting the concept of innovation into the two specific perspectives.

First, it is about driving and supporting further technological innovations that are developed accordingly to the environmentally sustainable standards. In other words, the technology that we should strive to promote within the society has to do good not only for humans, but also for the environment. Among the most crucial examples here is GreenTech/ CleanTech. In its production chain, this technology group uses the power of renewable energy sources such as the sun, wind, moving water, organic plant material and the earth’s heat. By not using the environmentally harmful alternatives such as oil, coal, or natural gas, green technology is the best option that could get us one step closer towards achieving the sustainable environmental future.

Second, it is about the innovative or rather transformative mindset of oneself. That stated, this Earth Day therefore places a solid emphasis on the actions that every individual should consider in order to become a more sustainable being. Simply put, it is what you do with your own habits that matters, as it then serves as an example for the rest of the world to follow!

If you would like to get a better grasp into any of these topics, do use the free-of-change online event opportunities on the official Earth Day website.

Earth Day and the Carpathians

Every event that takes place under the Earth Day celebrations is aimed at improving the general status of the environment. Moreover, these events are also aimed at transforming the ways in which humans view the environment. The latter, in turn, is specifically promoted to ensure that the standings of each individual as well as any other business or government entity in general do not cause further environmental degradation.

All of the mentioned context is crucial for the activities we run within Centralparks. This is the region with the unique ecosystems which are inhabited by the likewise unique species. By increasing the environmental protection and improving the management of such protected areas we will make sure to stick to the Earth Day concepts. Moreover, since the Earth Day seeks to promote better society mobilisation practices at all the possible levels – that is also another foundation of the many projects of ours.