History of the Convention

In 2001, the Government of Ukraine requested the UN Environment to facilitate an intergovernmental consultation process among the Carpathian countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, then-Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic and Ukraine) with the aim of drafting an international convention on the Carpathian Mountains to be adopted at the Fifth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” in 2003. The first significant step took place with the formation of the Alpine-Carpathian Partnership, launched during the International Year of the Mountain (2002) and supported by the Presidency of the Alpine Convention, which in that period was held by Italy.

An initial, informal meeting was hosted by the Ukrainian government in Kyiv on 06-07 November 2001, where participants agreed to a list of areas of cooperation from which the Carpathian environment would benefit. The formal negotiations between the Carpathian countries facilitated by UN Environment and supported by Austria, Italy, Lichtenstein and Switzerland took place during five preparatory meetings. Several international organizations, academic institutions and NGOs provided support to the negotiation process, including the European Academy (EURAC) in Bolzano, Italy, the host of the scientific and operational seat of the Alpine Convention Secretariat.

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. UN Environment 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. Subsequently, on 01 May 2004, the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (SCC) was opened in the Vienna offices of UN Environment.

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

  • in Kyiv, Ukraine (11 – 13 December 2006) - COP1
  • in Bucharest, Romania (17 – 19 June 2008) and - COP2
  • in Bratislava, Slovak Republic (25 – 27 May 2011) - COP3
  • in Mikulov, Czech Republic (23 - 26 September 2014) - COP4
  • in Lillafured, Hungary (10 – 12 October 2017) – COP5