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UNIS/OUS/078
9 May 2011

MEDIA ADVISORY

Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (COP3)

25 - 27 May 2011
Bratislava, Slovak Republic

VIENNA, 9 May (UN Information Service) - At the invitation of the Government of the Slovak Republic, the Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP3) to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians will take place on 25 - 27 May in Bratislava.

At COP3 the Parties are expected to adopt two Protocols to the Carpathian Convention, on issues that are of fundamental importance for the future development of the region: the Protocol on Sustainable Forest Management and the Protocol on Sustainable Tourism. With the adoption of the Protocols the Member States will commit themselves to actively promoting the sustainable management and protection of Carpathian forests and to maximizing the positive benefits of sustainable tourism to ecosystems, economic and social development in the Carpathians. The Conference will also consider the approval of a Strategic Action Plan for the Carpathian Area which represents an important contribution for the implementation of a European Union (EU) Strategy for the Danube Region that has recently been adopted by the European Commission.

The meeting marks the handover of the Romanian presidency of the Carpathian Convention to the Slovak Republic, which will preside over the Convention until 2014.

The media are cordially invited to attend the following events:

1. Public Official Ceremonial Opening with Cultural Event, attended by Ministers and Officials of the Carpathian Convention Member States
Venue: Hviezdoslavovo namestie 3, in front of Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel
Time: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday, 26 May

2. Second half of COP3 Ministerial Segment with photo opportunity of the signature of the Protocols and ceremony
Venue: Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Carlton Hall
Time: 11.20 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. Friday, 27 May
Media can enter the Conference Room during the Coffee Break at 11 a.m. - 11.20 a.m.

3. Press Conference with the Ministers and Officials of the Carpathian Convention Member States
Venue: Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Carlton Hall
Time: 12.30 p.m. - 1 p.m. Friday, 27 May (after the ministerial segment)

4. Various side events organized by different stakeholders and NGOs will take place during the lunch break and after the afternoon sessions on 25 and 26 May. The thematic focus ranges from the presentation of ongoing projects and initiatives on biodiversity, climate change, accessibility in the Carpathians to the analysis of opportunities of EU funds for the Carpathian area and the discussion of a Carpathian wide research agenda.
Venue: Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel

For media accreditation:

Pre-registration is required. Media representatives who wish to attend are encouraged to register by 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 25 May by writing to: unep@unvienna.org

More information about COP3 can be found at www.carpathianconvention.org

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About the Carpathians:

The Carpathians are Europe's largest, longest and most twisted and fragmented mountain chain in Europe, shared by seven Central and Eastern European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine. The region represents a centre of extensive biological diversity and unique and well-preserved cultural heritage. The European Union's largest populations of brown bears, wolves, lynx, European bisons and imperial eagles (a globally threatened species) are found in the Carpathians. They are also home to almost 4,000 plant species, including one-third of those species existing in Europe that are found nowhere else in the World.

About the Carpathian Convention:

The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention) was adopted and signed by seven Central and Eastern European countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine) in May 2003 in Kyiv, Ukraine. It is the only multi-level governance mechanism covering the whole of the Carpathian area and the second sub-regional treaty-based regime for the protection of a mountain region worldwide. Since 2004 the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (ISCC) is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme in the Vienna office and hosted by the Republic of Austria.

The COP is the main decision-making body of the Convention, consisting of High Level Representatives of the contracting states to the Convention. Amongst others, the COP is responsible for the adoption of protocols and amendments to the Convention and for the establishment of subsidiary bodies to the Convention. It decides the programme of work and the financial budget of the Convention and reviews and supports the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols. The ordinary meetings of the COP are held every three years.

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For more information please contact:

Veronika Hopfgartner
UNEP Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention
Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-5620
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7251
Email: veronika.hopfgartner@unvienna.org

or

Miroslav Beriac
Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic
Telephone: (+421-905) 887-451
Email: miroslav.beriac@enviro.gov.sk