Photo credits

Magura National Park in Poland by Andrzej Czaderna

Sustainable and integrated water/river basin management

Mountain river basins are critical to ecological health and human livelihoods. Rivers and wetlands provide critical habitat, healthy water systems and biodiversity. Humans rely upon the waters in the Carpathians for agriculture, forestry, pastoralism, mining, transportation and energy production.  


The Carpathians are home to the headwaters of several rivers, including tributaries to the Danube River. However, Carpathian river basins and wetlands are threatened by destructive human activities that decrease the water quality, natural structure of the water system, and availability of natural floodplains. Wetlands are one of the most threatened habitats in Europe and many wetland species are also classified as threatened. Pollution from intensive grazing and agriculture, urban settlements, industry and mining lessen the water quality. Changes in land use and river engineering have resulted in loss of floodplains, wetlands and the natural structure of rivers. These changes lead to more severe floods, droughts, landslides and erosion. 


Therefore, Parties are required to sustainably use, manage and protect water resources through Article 6 of the Carpathian Convention. This Article seeks to prevent such destructive activities and consequences through various management plans, transboundary partnerships and integrated river basin management policies. 


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