The Forum of the Carpathian Municipalities

Photo: Krzysztof Skuła, UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre

The Forum of the Carpathian Municipalities is a meeting of the representatives of local self-governments of the Carpathian municipalities, organized under the “Carpathians Unite” project. Each meeting focused on different issues important for the development of the Carpathian region from the perspective of the local self-government units.

The first meeting (26-27 September 2013 in Łukowe) concerned the prospects for sustainable development of the region in the context of the implementation of the Carpathian Convention, the National Strategy for Regional Development, the National Spatial Development Concept 2030 (KPZK 2030), the expected amendment to the Act on the principles of the development policy, and the new European Union financial perspective for 2014 -2020. Municipalities participating in the meeting issued a statement, inter alia declaring their willingness to cooperate with the self-government authorities of the other Parties to the Convention, and emphasizing the urgent need to mobilize support for the sustainable development of the Carpathian region.

The second meeting (24-25 September 2015 in Sromowce Niżne) focused on the spatial development issues in the light of the progressing degradation of the Carpathian landscape. The problems and challenges of an integrated approach to the regional development planning in the spatial planning context were discussed. The main topic of the debate was the spatial management of areas of high landscape values; the panelists commented the provisions of “the Code of Good Practice in Shaping the Carpathian Space”.

The third Forum of the Carpathian Municipalities (1-2 December 2016 in Rzeszów) was special for several reasons. First of all, due to the tenth anniversary of Carpathian Convention entry into force for Poland (19 June 2006). The Convention (including its thematic protocols ratified by Poland) is so far the only legal act which could become the basis for a coherent and comprehensive ‘mountain policy’, taking into account the needs and aspirations of the inhabitants of the Carpathian region. The motto of the 2016 edition of the Forum “Joint Management of the Carpathian Space” reflected the theme of the series of trainings targeted at the Carpathian municipality employees, decision makers and local leaders, carried out between March and November 2016 under the “Carpathians Unite” project.