Interreg Centralparks

Project Details

The Carpathians are one of the most important European wildlife refuges harbouring some of the last undisturbed ecosystems (primeval beech forests) and one-third of European vascular flora (endemic and threatened plant species). This area supports viable populations of all big native carnivores (incl. the brown bear, wolf, lynx) and all big native herbivores (incl. free-roaming European bison). Moreover, it forms one of the main European ecological corridors allowing migrations of animal populations and genetic exchange. Biodiversity loss is a global problem and the Carpathians are no exception. Threats are increasing due to changes in social and economic conditions, incl. infrastructure development and tourism pressure, habitat destruction and fragmentation, poaching and illegal logging, pollution, climate change, over-harvesting and inappropriate natural resource management methods; putting the mountain ecosystem under an enormous pressure.

The Carpathian protected area system is not capable of an effective management, as nature conservation policies and management cultures significantly vary among the Carpathian countries. Traditional approaches to natural resource management and biodiversity conservation may no longer be sufficient to guarantee long-lasting economic benefits and provision of ecosystem services.

Project Objectives

To improve integrated environmental management capacities of Carpathian protected areas for the protection and sustainable use of natural heritage and resources. The Centralparks project aims to reconcile nature conservation and local socio-economic development, as well as to ensure the support and better involve local communities.

Policy support documents and tools, tailored for decision-makers and protected area managers will focus on enhancing biodiversity and landscape conservation, local sustainable tourism development, integrated nature conservation planning, habitat evaluation and communication with local communities.

Joint transnational thematic task forces will be formed, involving experts from Carpathian countries. The project will be the platform develop and test innovative environmental management tools, such as the Ecosystem Services Toolkit, and laser scan surveying method for habitat evaluation and management planning. Partners in Centralparks will facilitate the harmonisation of measures undertaken in border areas and transboundary protected areas with the aim to have common strategies endorsed by the Carpathian Convention.

Centralparks will provide a link between different sectoral policies and administrative levels, based on long-term strategic vision. Hence, there is a growing need for international cooperation between protected areas in all seven countries to coordinate nature conservation activities at the
international level.

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Project Partners

  • European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen – Eurac Research, Italy
  • The State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, Slovakia
  • NFA-Romsilva-Piatra Craiului National Park Administration R.A., Romania
  • Ekopsychology Society, Poland
  • Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate, Hungary
  • Pronatur NGO, Slovakia
  • European Wilderness Society, Austria
  • Education and Information Centre of Bílé Karpaty Mountains, Czech Republic

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