Photo credits

Niedzica Castle in Poland by Dariusz Staniszewski

History of the Convention


International convention process initiated

The Government of Ukraine requested that the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) facilitate an intergovernmental consultation process among the Carpathian countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, then-Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic and Ukraine.

The intent was to draft an international convention on the Carpathian Mountains to be adopted at the Fifth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” in 2003.

November 2001
November 2001

First informal meeting held

An initial, informal meeting was hosted on 06-07 November 2001 by the Ukrainian government in Kyiv, where participants agreed to a list of areas where the Carpathians would benefit from cooperation.


Formal negotiations commenced

UNEP facilitated formal negotiations between the Carpathian countries during five preparatory meetings, supported by Austria, Italy, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. Several international organizations, academic institutions and NGOs provided support to the negotiation process, including the Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy, the host of the scientific and operational seat of the Alpine Convention Secretariat.


Alpine-Carpathian Partnership formed

The first significant step was the formation of the Alpine-Carpathian Partnership, launched during the International Year of the Mountain (2002). This campaign was supported by the Presidency of the Alpine Convention, which Italy hosted in that period.

May 2003
May 2003

Carpathian Convention established

The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians was adopted in Kyiv in May 2003 during the “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference. This is now referred to as the Carpathian Convention.

UNEP was requested to continue servicing the Convention process, including providing support to the Interim Secretariat. Austria offered to host and support the interim arrangement in Vienna.

May 2004
May 2004

UNEP Vienna Programme Office established

On 01 May 2004, the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (SCC) was opened in the Vienna offices of UNEP.

Since then, the Meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention (COP) have taken place:

Vienna Programme Office
Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention

UN Environmnent
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 500
A – 1400 Vienna

Tel: +43 1 260 60 83038

© Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention