Protocols to the Convention

bieszczady2Photo: Zbigniew Niewiadomski,  UNEP/GRID - Warsaw Centre

Pursuant to Article 2 of the Carpathian Convention the Parties shall pursue a comprehensive policy for the protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians, which requires the integration of the Convention objectives into different sectoral policies of each Party (e.g. on spatial planning and land resources management, water and river basin management, agriculture, forestry, transport and infrastructure, tourism) and harmonization of such policies, both at the national and regional scale.

Simultaneously, due to the “framework” nature of the Carpathian Convention, it does not contain many detailed and specific substantive obligations – such still have to be agreed upon by the Parties to the Convention, and inscribed into additional international agreements called “thematic protocols” to the Convention, focused on particular sectoral policies relevant to the areas of cooperation under the Convention, covered by its Articles 4 to 13. Thematic protocols result from, and supplement the provisions of the framework convention. Such thematic Protocols (similarly to the Convention) are the instruments of the international law having a binding force for their Parties.

The protocols to the Convention are adopted on the basis of Article 2 paragraph 3 and Article 18 of the Convention. Pursuant to Article 14 the Conference of the Parties is mandated to adopt Protocols, or amendments to previously adopted ones. This is why thematic protocols to the Convention are always adopted at the meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention.

As mentioned above – protocols to the Convention are additional international agreements, that require the same legal procedure as the Convention: adoption, signature, ratification and entry into force. However, regardless of the “individual” nature of each thematic Protocol as a separately adopted and ratified international agreement, upon entry into force it becomes part of the ‘Convention legal system’. Only Parties to the Convention may become Parties to the thematic Protocol, and meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention serve as Meetings of the Parties (MOPs) to the Protocol.

Thematic Protocols to the Carpathian Convention enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the fourth instrument of ratification, approval, acceptance or accession – which means that any Protocol in force has no less than four Parties. In general, it is expected that all Parties to the Convention shall become Parties to all thematic Protocols adopted to this Convention. But, as for today, the Protocol on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological and Landscape Diversity (Bucharest, 2008) is still the only thematic Protocol to the Convention in force for all seven Parties to the Convention (since 4 July 2013).

Four thematic protocols to the Framework Carpathian Convention have been adopted so far:

The Republic of Poland has ratified three out of four thematic protocols to the Framework Carpathian Convention, on the biological and landscape diversity, sustainable tourism and sustainable transport (the latter has not yet entered into force).

Furthermore, proposals for the two new thematic Protocols to the Carpathian Convention have recently been elaborated:

  • the Protocol on Cultural Heritage (its 1st draft was developed under the “Carpathians Unite” project);
  • the Protocol on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (for adoption by COP5 in 2017 in Hungary).

More information on the Protocols at the website of the Carpathian Convention


See also:
Towards the implementation of the Framework Convention: thematic protocols, strategic action plans (SAPs), and national action plans (NAPs)