Bodies implementing the Carpathian Convention

COP4 kadrowaneFot. UNEP Vienna – Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention

At the international level

The Conference of the Parties (COP), where all Parties to the Convention are represented is the highest and the main decision-making body of the Carpathian Convention, established on the basis of its Article 14. The tasks and powers of the COP include the adoption of thematic protocols to the Convention, work programs and budget for the following years of implementation of the Convention, establishment of subsidiary bodies of the Convention and supervision over the implementation of the Convention. Decisions of the COP are taken unanimously, and therefore not as a result of a formal voting, but by consensus, where an agreement is reached through negotiations.

Subsequent meetings of the Conference of the Parties are marked with Arabic numerals, so for example the “COP4” abbreviation should be read as "the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties". Ordinary meetings of the Conference of the Parties shall be held every three years, each time hosted by the Party taking over the Presidency of the Convention. COP meeting serves also as the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to particular thematic Protocols to the Framework Convention.

COP Rules (Rules of Procedure for the Conference of the Parties) adopted by COP1 (included as Annex 1 to COP1 Decision) shall apply mutatis mutandis to all the bodies of the Convention. Pursuant to Rule 35 any other State, and any national, intergovernmental or non-governmental organization with activities related to the Convention (entered on the list communicated by the Secretariat to the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties prior to each meeting) may participate as observer at the ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the Conference.

Four meetings of the Conference of the Parties were held so far, on 11-13 December 2006 in Kyiv, Ukraine (COP1), on 17-19 June 2008 in Bucharest, Romania (COP2), on 25-27 May 2011 in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, and on 23-26 September 2014 in Mikulov, Czech Republic (COP4). The next, fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention (COP5) shall be held in 2017 in Hungary.

More information in English on the CC COP meetings at the website of the Convention.

The key role for the implementation of the Convention between the COP meetings plays the Carpathian Convention Implementation Committee (CCIC) - a subsidiary body established by COP1, pursuant to COP Rule 21 in correspondence with Article 14 paragraph 2 point e and Article 16 of the Convention. The CCIC consists of representatives of the Parties to the Convention. The CCIC meets at least once a year, and its task include preparation of the decisions of the Conference of the Parties, monitoring the progress and recommending activities towards the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols, recommending the adoption of additional protocols and strategies, as well as the preparation of the next COP meetings.

More information in English on the CCIC meetings at the website of the Convention

Expert subsidiary bodies of the Carpathian Convention are the thematic Working Groups, composed of National Contact Points and/or experts nominated by them. Currently, eight thematic Working Groups support the implementation of the Carpathian Convention:

  • Working Group on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological and Landscape Diversity;
  • Working Group on Spatial Development;
  • Working Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD);
  • Working Group on Sustainable Forest Management;
  • Working Group on Sustainable Industry, Energy, Transport and Infrastructure;
  • Working Group on Sustainable Tourism;
  • Working Group on Cultural Heritage and Traditional Knowledge;
  • Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change.

More information in English on the CC Working Groups terms of reference and activities at the website of the Convention.

More information in English on the meetings of CC Working Groups at the website of the Convention.

Since 2004 the Carpathian Convention is serviced by the Secretariat, established pursuant to Article 15 of the Convention, hosted by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Office in Vienna (UNEP Vienna - SCC, Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention). The Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention is supported by the European Academy (EURAC) from Bolzano/Bozen, and cooperates with UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre.

The Secretariat provides communication between all Parties, supports the activities of the various bodies of the Convention, is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Programme of Work of the Convention, supports the preparation and implementation of joint projects, and prepares materials for meetings of the Conference of the Parties and its bodies. Ultimately, the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention should be located within the geographical scope of the ​​application of the Convention. Offers for the location of the Permanent Secretariat of the Convention were initially submitted by Romania (Brasov) and Ukraine (Chernivtsi), then by the Slovak Republic (Bratislava). Most recently (in 2013) Poland submitted an offer of the location for a permanent secretariat in Rzeszow.

At the national level

Each Party to the Carpathian Convention appointed the CC National Focal Point (in Poland the CC NFP operates within the Ministry of the Environment), ensuring communication with other Parties and coordination of activities towards the implementation of the Convention undertaken at the national level.

Only in Poland a National Steering Committee of the Carpathian Convention (KKSKK) has been established. This Committee includes, among others, representatives of the ministries responsible for sectoral policies relevant for the implementation of the Convention, relevant Marshal and Provincial Offices, the General and Regional Directorates for Environmental Protection, the General Directorate of State Forests, six Carpathian national parks, four Euroregions (the Carpathian Euroregion, Tatra Euroregion, Beskidy Euroregion Euroregion Cieszyn Silesia), Polish Tourist Organization and non-governmental organizations active in the Polish part of the Carpathians (including UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre).