On 17 December 2018, at a ceremony following the Ninth Meeting of the Carpathian Convention Implementation Committee, the Carpathian Convention was presented with the prestigious WWF “Gift to the Earth” Award.

Andreas Beckmann, Director of WWF-Danube-Carpathian Programme, declared that the Award intends to recognise the vital role played by the Convention since its entry into force in 2006 in “facilitating action by its seven member states and relevant stakeholders to preserve the exceptional natural values and promote sustainable development in the globally important Carpathian mountains region, as well as in serving as a model for cross-border cooperation”.

Increasing development of infrastructure, intensifying agricultural practices and urbanisation, and illegal logging and hunting are just some of the many environmental challenges that face the Carpathian mountains. It follows that effective cooperation between the seven Carpathian countries is crucial to both ensure sustainable resource use, and maintain the natural and cultural heritage of this mountain region. 

The Carpathian Convention is the sole multi-level governance instrument that covers the Carpathian area, and as noted by Mr Harald Egerer, head of UN Environment Vienna Office – Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, “is the product of cooperation between governments and different stakeholders, including from civil society, science, the public and private sectors that all share a Carpathian dream”.

A WWF ‘Gift to the Earth’ Award celebrates important conservation efforts by governments, companies, organisations or individuals which demonstrate environmental leadership and significantly contribute to the protection of our living world. To date, over 100 ‘Gift to the Earth’ Awards have been presented in recognition of notable sustainability and conservation initiatives across the globe. Being a recipient of such an accolade is an honour for the Carpathian Convention, and a testament to the commitment of the Carpathian countries in addressing the host of environmental challenges facing this mountain region.

For further information on the awarding of the WWF ‘Gift to the Earth’ to the Carpathian Convention, see here.

For video footage featuring further comments on the Gift to the Earth Award presented to the Carpathian Convention, see here.

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