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    UNIS/OUS/260
    26 September 2014

    Re-issued as received

    A milestone for the protection of Europe's mountains: Carpathian States adopt Protocol on Sustainable Transport

    MIKULOV, Czech Republic, 26 September (UNEP) - From 23 to 26 September, environment ministers and other high-level government officials of the seven Carpathian States met in Mikulov for the fourth Conference of the Parties (COP4) to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention).

    Today, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine unanimously adopted the Protocol on Sustainable Transport. The protocol was signed by four parties. Sustainable transport represents a major challenge for today's rural and urban environments - particularly in sensitive mountain regions of the Carpathians. Addressing the Ministerial segment, Jan Dusik, Regional Director for Europe of the UN Environment Programme said: "Green Infrastructure is one of the main issues to be tackled in the future under the incoming Czech Republic's presidency of the Carpathian Convention as well as at the EU level; the new Transport Protocol gives the Carpathian countries an important tool in this respect."

    During the Conference, the countries also adopted the Ministerial Declaration on Cultural Heritage and the Joint Alpine-Carpathian Statement on Adaptation to Climate Change.

    Concluding the meeting, Mr. Dusik said: "With great pleasure I note that further important steps have been taken towards the future ratification and implementation of the Protocols on Biodiversity, on Forests and on Sustainable Tourism. Besides the many other achievements in the various thematic fields (forestry, tourism, climate change etc.), and the realization of concrete projects and initiatives in those fields, I want to highlight particularly the value of strategic partnerships between the Carpathian Convention and other institutions." The importance of the Carpathian Convention is also continuously reflected at the global level, notably in the context of the UN, and besides the Alpine Convention often referred to as a best-practice example of regional mountain governance.

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    The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention) 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 through its Vienna office.

    The COP is the main decision-making body of the Carpathian 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.

    The press conference to the event is taking place right after closure of the Ministerial Segment.

    For more information, visit: http://www.carpathianconvention.org/

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    For more information, please contact:

    Mathilde Koeck
    UNEP Vienna ISCC
    Email: mathilde.koeck[at]unvienna.org