Submission by the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (ISCC) for
The Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention (Slovak Republic, 25-27 May 2011, called ?upon the interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention and all relevant institutions to promote the Carpathian Convention as a best-practice example of institutional framework for promoting sustainable development and green economy, in the
context of the process leading to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012?, The Carpathian Convention is an active Member of the Mountain Partnership.
The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention) was adopted and signed by the seven Parties (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Ukraine) in May 2003 in Kyiv, Ukraine, and entered into force in January 2006. It is the only multi-level governance mechanism covering the whole of the Carpathian area and besides the Alpine Convention the
other sub-regional treaty-based regime for the protection and sustainable development of a mountain region worldwide.
The common vision of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention is to pursue comprehensive policy and cooperation in order to guarantee protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians. The improvement of the quality of live, the strengthening of local economies and communities, and the conservation of natural values and cultural heritage should go hand in
hand in the Carpathian area.
The Convention provides a framework for cooperation and multi-sectoral policy coordination, a platform for joint strategies and projects for sustainable development, and a forum for dialogue between all stakeholders involved ? from the local community and various NGO?s up to the regional and national Governments, Institutions of the European Union and the United Nations.
The adoption of Protocols is one of the most important means for achieving the overall objectives of the Convention through effective implementation. At the moment the Protocol on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological and Landscape Diversity entered into force and the Protocols on Sustainable Tourism and Sustainable Forest management have been adopted.
As a regional mountain agreement the Carpathian Convention gains also importance on the global level in terms of contribution to the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its related Programmes of Work (PoWs) (e.g. on Mountain Biodiversity or Protected Areas) or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Carpathian Convention likewise the Alpine Convention follows a ecosystem-based management approach, taking into account socio-economic and environmental concerns at the same time. This approach is also in line with the principles of integration and interdependence
as enshrined in numerous political documents such as the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development 2002.
Possible considerations by the ISCC for the process leading to Rio Earth Summit 2012
· Further capitalizing on the results gained through UNEP?s Green Economy Initiative, such as the synthesis for policy-makers entitled ?Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication? (2011) and in sector chapters available as part of the Green Economy Report (2011) as well as a number of other significant documents that have been published on this concept.
· Since 1992, when chapter 13 on mountains as fragile ecosystems was introduced in Agenda 21, the demand for goods and services from mountains has grown considerably. Moreover, the ability of mountain systems to provide essential goods and services for all of humanity is increasingly under threat from climate change, globalization, a chronic lack of investment and ongoing land degradation.
· The natural capital is source of ecological functions, which are essential for the human well-being. Mountains host a wide range of ecosystems, different in quantity and quality and generally in a good state of conservation. Consequently, mountain areas provide significant ecosystem services of which we are only partially aware, at present. In order to promote the enduring and sustainable development of mountain areas, generally less competitive from a socio-economic point of view, it is essential to identify the natural capital held by these areas, as well as the ecosystem services that they offer. Moreover, this also ensures the preservation of such a capital and the integrity of the services provided. Such ecosystem services are not fully recognized by the conventional measures of income and wealth. Therefore it is necessary to promote actions aimed towards the recognition and the valuation of mountain ecosystem services, by applying market-based mechanisms in the transition to green economy, according to the requirements of mountain territories and consistent with the preservation of the multi-functionality of these ecosystems. In the context of a Green Economy, new opportunities for investments by the private sector are emerging in mountain regions, especially in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and ecosystem goods and services.
· However, innovative institutional arrangements are urgently required to trigger governance models and decision support systems aiming at both the integration of the social, ecological and economic capital at all scales in mountain regions, as well as the actual mainstreaming of mountains into overall national development andconservation processes. The Carpathian Convention is a regional governance mechanism and a best-practice example of institutional framework for promoting sustainable development and green economy.
· The Lucerne Call for Action as outcome of the Lucerne World Mountain Conference, 11 to 12 October 2011, organized by Switzerland is an important strategic document in the field of Sustainable Mountain Development that needs to be taken into account for the discussions and preparation of the Rio Earth Summit 2012.
Contact information: Mr. Harald Egerer (Head of Office),
Further information: www.carpathianconvention.org
Mountains for the World: Call for Action
Mountains are vital for sustainable development and human wellbeing. More than half of the earth?s population depends on fresh water coming from mountains. Mountains also provide a number of important global goods and key services which are under increasing pressure from globalization and climate change.
Following the invitation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (FAO), international experts and policy makers met in Lucerne on 11 and 12 October 2011 to convey the importance of mountains to the Rio +20 summit.
Protecting future water supplies, reducing poverty in mountain populations and unlocking the economic potential of mountains calls for the following actions:
1) Adapt and develop mountain governance that takes into account the unique characteristics of mountains in order to overcome poverty, food insecurity, and social exclusion.
2) Facilitate mountain communities to gain fair access to resources and share benefits of their use equitably.
3) Involve mountain people in decision making processes that concern their livelihood, economy, environment, and culture.
4) Strengthen and develop national, regional and global institutions that address highland-lowland interactions and transboundary cooperation, support capacity building, generation and dissemination of knowledge, technical expertise and innovation for sustainable mountain development.
5) Provide enabling conditions and incentives for investment by the private sector in sustainable development in mountain areas and include appropriate funding in national budgets in order to enhance wellbeing and reduce disparities.
6) Recognize the vulnerability of mountain ecosystems within the three Rio conventions and adopt action plans for each related to sustainable development.
7) Make best use of all new and existing funding mechanisms such as the Global Environment Facility.
Lucerne, 11 October 2011