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Carpathian mountain countries meet for UN sustainability gathering

Carpathian mountain countries meet for UN sustainability gathering

A river in the Carpathian Mountains.
Environment ministers and experts from seven countries in the Carpathian mountain region of Central and Eastern Europe today open a United Nations-backed meeting to discuss the sustainable development of the area.

The three-day meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, is the third round of the UN-backed Conference of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention, which fosters cooperation between its members – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine – on matters relating to the region.

The delegates are expected to discuss the adoption of protocols on sustainable forest management and sustainable tourism.

More than half of the Carpathian mountain range, which is about 1,500 kilometres in length, is covered by forests, with close to 100,000 square kilometres of natural and semi-natural forests. They represent a link between the forests of the north and those of the west and south-west of Europe.

As tourism in the region increases, the number of hotels in the Carpathians has risen by nearly 60 per cent in the last decade.

The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians was adopted in May 2003. The Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (ISCC) is administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Vienna and hosted by Austria.